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The law firm representing Syed Jamal has filed a motion asking the court to either transfer his case to Hawaii, where he is currently detained, or return the Lawrence father to a Missouri facility.
According to a Facebook post by Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law, the motion was filed at 4:56 p.m. Tuesday, just about 24 hours after the Board of Immigration Appeals granted Jamal a new stay of removal. The scientist’s legal team said the motion was filed “because when a person is no longer in jurisdiction, the federal court is at risk of losing jurisdiction over the case.
“Attorneys for the government have indicated they are coordinating efforts to bring Syed back to Kansas City, however the exact timing of that remains unclear,” the Facebook post said. “It is the hope of many that his return to Kansas City will be very soon.”
Jamal has not seen his wife and children since Jan. 24, when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested the 55-year-old scientist and academic outside his Lawrence home. Jamal’s wife, Angela Zaynub Chowdhury, who is also from Bangladesh, has said the incident traumatized their three children, all of whom are U.S. citizens.
Jamal, who has lived in the U.S. for more than 30 years, has no criminal record in Douglas County.
Sharma-Crawford’s Facebook post also referred to a “private bill” reportedly introduced Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas) that would “grant Jamal and his wife lawful permanent status.” The Journal-World had reported Jenkins’ plans to introduce that bill earlier on Tuesday.
“While that process is time consuming, it is indeed an extraordinary event,” the post said. “Lawmakers from both sides of the state line continue efforts and have shown eminence in leadership to support and protect this family.”
U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri) 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.
More coverage: Syed Jamal deportation case• Feb. 14 — Immigration law expert explains rocky path to citizenship; for cases like Syed Jamal's, it's complicated
• Feb. 14 — Syed Jamal back in Kansas City area, but still detained, attorneys say
• Feb. 13 — Rep. Jenkins introduces bill that would assist Lawrence father Syed Jamal in deportation battle
• Feb. 12 — Board of Immigration Appeals grants new stay of removal for Syed Jamal
• Feb. 8 — Crowd marches downtown to support detained Lawrence scientist Syed Jamal
• Feb. 8 — Lawrence scientist Syed Jamal granted temporary stay of removal; judge's ruling on deportation expected within 10 days
• Feb. 7 — Brother worries Lawrence scientist could be deported within days; Kansas congressman ‘disturbed’ by prioritization of noncriminal case
• Feb. 6 — Mystery grows around pending deportation of longtime Lawrence resident; online protest petition tops 27,000 signatures
• Feb. 3 — Bangladeshi-born Lawrence scientist, father of 3 now facing deportation after 30-plus years in U.S.