Rep. Jenkins introduces bill that would assist Lawrence father Syed Jamal in deportation battle

Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., right, with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., and Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, following a House GOP caucus meeting. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins has introduced a private bill seeking to aid Lawrence resident Syed Jamal in his legal fight to avoid deportation.

The bill, which the Republican congresswoman introduced Tuesday in the U.S. House of Representatives, would make Jamal and his wife, Angela Zaynub Chowdhury, eligible to receive an immigrant visa or to adjust their status to permanent residency upon filing an application.

“Congresswoman Jenkins has been actively engaged with ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), other federal agencies and the family on this matter from the moment Mr. Jamal’s family contacted our office,” spokesman Lee Modesitt said in an emailed statement to the Journal-World earlier Tuesday, before the bill was introduced.

Modesitt also said Jenkins worked with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Missouri, “to explore potential legislative options to assist Syed and his family.”

Cleaver has publicly spoken in support of Jamal, even visiting the Bangladeshi-born father and scientist this past weekend in a Texas detention facility. Earlier this week, Cleaver announced plans to advance special legislation that would seek to release Jamal from custody and secure his legal status, and, on Tuesday, he discussed Jamal’s case on the House Floor in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Lynn Jenkins

Jamal was still detained at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center as of Tuesday afternoon, according to a Facebook post by his legal team, Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law. The post, dated around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, said Jamal’s attorneys were still awaiting an update on where he would be taken next.