Archive for Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Syed Jamal back in Kansas City area, but still detained, attorneys say

Syed Jamal, seen here with his daughter, two sons and his nephew during a family vacation in Tennessee, is facing deportation after more than 30 years in the United States. Jamal, a Lawrence research scientist and academic, has three American-born children, all of whom attend Lawrence schools: Taseen, 13, Naheen, 12, and Fareed, 6.

Syed Jamal, seen here with his daughter, two sons and his nephew during a family vacation in Tennessee, is facing deportation after more than 30 years in the United States. Jamal, a Lawrence research scientist and academic, has three American-born children, all of whom attend Lawrence schools: Taseen, 13, Naheen, 12, and Fareed, 6.

February 14, 2018, 11:29 a.m. Updated February 14, 2018, 8:42 p.m.

Advertisement

Syed Jamal, the Lawrence father whose deportation struggle has attracted the attention of national lawmakers and media outlets, has been returned to the Kansas City area from Hawaii, his attorneys announced Wednesday afternoon.

Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law, which posted the news on Facebook, later gave a press conference outside Missouri’s Platte County Jail, where Jamal is being held. Jamal’s attorney, Rekha Sharma-Crawford, told reporters Jamal had been “in good spirits” after landing in Kansas City shortly after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Alan Anderson, a neighbor and longtime friend of Jamal’s family, said the hope is that Jamal will be allowed to stay with his family under an “order of supervision” while the family fights the matter in the courts. Anderson, who is an attorney but is not representing Jamal in this case, said that process could take months.

That, coupled with a private bill recently introduced by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins that would aid Jamal’s family as well as the reasoning that Jamal “poses no flight risk,” Anderson said, is why he and other supporters are advocating for Jamal’s return to Kansas.

“It would be inhumane and an utter waste of taxpayer resources to not have him here at this time,” Anderson told the Journal-World.

Jamal’s legal team on Tuesday filed a motion in court to either transfer his case to Hawaii, where he was detained as of Tuesday evening, or return him to a Missouri facility. Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law earlier that day announced on Facebook that “attorneys for the government have indicated they are coordinating efforts to bring Syed back to Kansas City.”

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 said during Wednesday’s press conference that she hoped Jamal’s family would be able to visit him soon, possibly later that evening. It’s ultimately in the hands of ICE officials to decide when and if Jamal is released, Sharma-Crawford said. The agency also has the discretion to move Jamal to another facility if it wishes to. However, she said, “ICE has indicated that it was their intent to keep him detained until the Board of Immigration Appeals has ruled.”

Sharma-Crawford said she hoped ICE would reconsider its position “within the next few days” and put Jamal under an order of supervision.

“Legally, what you’re looking at is probably several months, easily, before the Board of Immigration Appeals process is complete,” she said. “In terms of the private bill, it’s even more immense than that. So, this is not going to be resolved very quickly.”

Jenkins introduced the private bill that would aid Jamal in his deportation fight on the House floor Tuesday. The bill would make Jamal and Chowdhury eligible to receive an immigrant visa or to adjust their status to permanent residency upon filing an application.

Chowdhury came to the U.S. in 2002, and there also was an order for her removal several years ago, according to Heather Frierson, a spokeswoman for Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Missouri, who helped draft the bill.

Jenkins said in a statement that she is “hopeful that an appropriate solution can be reached for a man who has spent 30 years here and is well respected and valued in the Lawrence community.”

Cases such as Jamal’s have been on the rise. Shortly after taking office last year, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that widened the categories of immigrants in the U.S. illegally who could face deportation. The number of arrests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement surged almost 40 percent from the time of Trump’s inauguration to the end of September, compared with the same time period the year before. ICE has also detained or deported people who had received reprieves from the agency during the Obama administration.

— The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Comments

Sarah Gardner 1 week, 2 days ago

All this work just because he let his visa expire and never attempted to become a citizen. I feel bad for his family but this was 100% his fault and he suffered the consequences. If he would have attempted to become a citizen over the 30 years he was here, this never would have happened. If he would have updated his visa, this never would have happened. Are we going to start writing legislation for every single immigrant who's visa expires because we feel bad?

Armen Kurdian 1 week, 1 day ago

Spot on, this is on HIM. He screwed up, and he must face the consequences. Let him stay in the country and pay a nice fat fine.

Carrie Murphy 1 week, 1 day ago

Dear Ma’am, As an educator in one of the schools where his children go, I just have to say you are Wrong.

Sarah Gardner 1 week, 1 day ago

I appreciate your opinions but how am i wrong? I agree emotionally, this is very sad. And I feel very bad for his family and children. However, it's just plain fact that this never would have happened if he would have 1) renewed his work visa or 2) applied for citizenship. It's just fact. This could have been totally avoided if he would have taken action. Since he did not, he was deported. Since the public became so upset, a law will now be made to allow him to stay even though it was his fault for being deported.

Ray Mizumura 1 week, 1 day ago

No, the first comment is not "spot on." No, we aren't going to start writing legislation because we feel bad for immigrants. Neither of you knows all the facts in this case, but you won't let that stop you from screaming for punishment. It is not an open-shut, cut and dried, "100% his fault case"--if it was, he'd be out of the country and we wouldn't be having this discussion. This is still a nation of laws, not people, no matter how much you'd like your opinions and frustrations to overrule said laws. You see the situation of Mr. Jamal as being a personal affront, but that's ridiculous. If anyone is letting their emotions run wild and cloud their thinking, it is you--all, 100% on you.

Sarah Gardner 1 week, 1 day ago

I never said he should be punished. The reason why he is not "out of the country and we wouldn't be having this discussion" is because of the outcry from the public to the Congresswoman. She then has to act. Not saying any of that is wrong. I am just clearly saying, the facts are... his work visa was expired and was not a citizen. If he would have tried to become a citizen, he would definitely been one by now and would not have been deported. I am not emotional actually at all. If you read my post I think it is very clear I am using 100% logic where as it is clear you are using emotion. I am not mad. I am not upset. I am analyzing a situation and wondering what next steps will be for all the other immigrants who over stay there visas.

Sarah Gardner 1 week, 1 day ago

Also I personally love this line in your comment, "This is still a nation of laws, not people, no matter how much you'd like your opinions and frustrations to overrule said laws" as it totally supports my comment. Yes you are right. This is a country of laws! So if someone breaks a law, as he did by not renewing his work visa, then their are consequences, like getting deported.You are frustrated with these laws and sorry but that does not overrule the law.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 week, 1 day ago

How much do you know about our stupid, horrible immigration laws? I'm guessing not a lot.

Sarah Gardner 1 week, 1 day ago

Well I have a law degree and specialize in immigration law, so more than you.

Web Kay 1 week, 1 day ago

It is very pitiful that we are wasting the resources because this guy can't follow procedures. He is a teacher? He isn't even disciplined enough in his personal life to get his crap in order so how is he a good role model for our children. He sounds incompetent to me.

Armen Kurdian 1 week, 1 day ago

I have no idea what you are talking about. He overstayed his visa, he filed to file appropriate paperwork, he could have applied for citizenship, complicated as that is, so yes, this situation could have been avoided had he taken the steps to avoid getting to this point. Sarah is spot on, and I genuinely do not understand the point you are trying to make.

Clara Westphal 1 week, 1 day ago

The process may be complicated but it doesn't ;take 30 years to become a citizen. I have a friend who went through the process and it took seven years.

David Holroyd 1 week, 1 day ago

Oh, the wife "disappeared". So she is not very true to her man "stand beside her man" .Why has see not been seen?

A family minus the mother. Show a picture of all of them...not the heart tugging photo of the father and the kids.

Come on Journal World..get the real story about the wife.!!

Nick Gerik 1 week, 1 day ago

Hi, David. We've been talking to Angela Chowdhury since the week before we published our first story on Syed Jamal. Her quotes and photos have also appeared in our continuing coverage of the case. You can find all those stories and photos linked at the bottom of this story.

— Nick Gerik, LJW digital editor

David Holroyd 1 week, 1 day ago

But why isn't she in Lawrence ? A simple question.

Web Kay 1 week, 1 day ago

I've been married 25 years. Some days I wish my husband could get deported. I could live in a clean and organized house for awhile. I wouldn't be surprised if she is a bit relieved to get a break from living with a stupid man.

Steve Hicks 1 week, 1 day ago

Agreed, Mr. Jamal "screwed up," and broke the law. Most of us do, in some degree, at some point of our lives.

That's why our legal tradition and system includes the principle of "equity"..."a venerable group of rights and procedures to provide fairness, unhampered by the narrow strictures of the...law or other technical requirements of the law."

That's why our legal system gives judges numerous mechanisms to tailor their decisions, not only to the exact "narrow strictures" of statute-law, but also to their best perceptions of "fairness" in every specific situation, for each individual defendant...in the community's best interest.

In this situation, Mr. Jamal and family have shown themselves the kind of people our community would like to have among us, and most Lawrence folks do. The community's perception of its best interests is clear.

None of the family is a violent criminal, the kind of people authorities have said they are especially targetting for deportation. Mr. Jamal shouldn't be a priority to those authorities for deportation, by their own criteria. Hardly fairness.

The fair thing in this situation, for Mr. Jamal and our community, seems to be returning Mr. Jamal to his family, and to our community.

Arguing for the strictest possible application of the law in Mr. Jamal's case as "support" for the law is hypocritical. It actually shows contempt for our legal system's tradition of fairness...or call it "mercy.". Shame.

David Holroyd 1 week, 1 day ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

David Holroyd 1 week, 1 day ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

David Holroyd 1 week, 1 day ago

I will write to Lynn Jenkins..with some thoughts!

Pius Waldman 1 week, 1 day ago

It appears to me that common sense should allow this to be reviewed and decisions made after the review. Without inside information to simply arrest and send away a man who has spent many years and been a man who didn't cause trouble and has a family. Yes he should have taken care of becoming a citizen but maybe that can be worked out. Right now think of how much effort and money has been spent that could have been prevented by a more reasonable plan. My hope is he will be granted an opportunity to solve this problem.

Bob Smith 1 week, 1 day ago

"...Right now think of how much effort and money has been spent that could have been prevented by a more reasonable plan..." Not staying illegally in America for decades would have been a more reasonable plan.

Bob Smith 1 week, 1 day ago

Is the offender getting frequent flier miles for all this travel?

Greg Cooper 1 week, 1 day ago

No, those go to the various Department heads, for their first class flights on your money.

Sign in to comment

loading...