Archive for Thursday, March 22, 2018

Editorial: Family belongs together

It’s only right that Lawrence resident Syed Jamal remains with his wife and children pending resolution of his deportation case.

March 22, 2018


Syed Jamal is home with his family after nearly two months in jail.

Jamal was released Tuesday following a ruling by federal judge Roseann Ketchmark that he be released while he awaits a Board of Immigration Appeals ruling in his deportation case. Ketchmark made the right call. Jamal, who lives in Lawrence with his wife and three children, is not a flight risk.

In fact, as U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins made clear Tuesday, Jamal should never have been put through the ordeal of the past two months.

“The fact that our government would prioritize resources to attempt to deport Syed is offensive to our common sense and a fiscally reckless use of taxpayer dollars,” Jenkins said, noting that Jamal had worked, paid taxes and raised a family in the United States. “Syed is the type of immigrant our nation always has and should continue to welcome, exactly the type of immigrant this ‘nation of immigrants’ was built by.”

Jenkins sought legislation to help Jamal and his family.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents arrested the 55-year-old scientist, who was born in Bangladesh, outside his Lawrence home on Jan. 24. The arrest caught Jamal and his family by surprise — he had lived in the U.S. for more than 30 years and had no run-ins with law enforcement.

Jamal initially came to the United States in 1987 on a student visa. He attended the University of Kansas and earned bachelor’s degrees in biology, biochemistry and philosophy from Rockhurst University in 1997, before earning his master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2001.

He overstayed his visa and voluntarily departed the country in July 2002, returning to Bangladesh where he married. He returned to the United States in October of 2002 on another visa.

He overstayed his recent visa and was ordered to voluntarily deport in 2011. He appealed that decision, but his appeal was dismissed in 2013 and he was ordered to leave the country. But for nearly five years, no effort was made to enforce the order. Jamal was allowed to continue living with his family and working as a professor at Kansas City, Kansas Community College, until ICE agents arrived at his home in January.

Though he has been released from jail, Jamal’s presence in the United States remains precarious. He continues to be under a deportation order, and a hearing is scheduled before the Board of Immigration Appeals next month. If his appeal gets dismissed again he could face immediate deportation. That would be a travesty.

In the immigration playbook, Jamal’s case stands as a lesson in “what not to do.” He has suffered enough. Barring new evidence, Jamal should be allowed to remain I the United States with his wife and three children.

Correction: A previous version of this editorial misspelled the name of federal judge Roseann Ketchmark.


Bob Smith 2 months ago

"...Syed is the type of immigrant our nation always has and should continue to welcome..." The type that breaks the law when he figures he won't get caught?

Glen Stovall 2 months ago

I am eager to hear from all in the Church of the 2nd Amendment and White Nationalist Fellowship how Syed is "illegal"--- while they fully support and advocate for the POTUS who defrauded the American people, raped, sexually assaulted, discriminated against blacks in housing and many other deplorable acts------all illegal. Preach to us.

Scott Burkhart 2 months ago

So, you are implying that if I support the 2nd amendment, I am a "White Nationalist?" Additionally, I would like to see the proof that Donald Trump did the things in real estate that you are accusing him of doing. I know his father was implicated in some bad renting practices but name me any landlord/property owner of that era, in New York, that wasn't. That doesn't make it alright, it just makes it part of the national landscape of that era. As far as the sexual allegations, here's my answer to that. Who cares? Everyone on the left surrendered the moral high ground on this issue with William Jefferson Clinton, Hillary Clinton, the silence of the feminist leadership in America, the "Bimbo Eruptions," and the Clinton war room, starring George Stephanopolus.(sp) We brought up his sordid past and we were told that it didn't matter. When him and Monica Lewinsky were playing "slap and tickle" in the Oval Office we were told it was a private matter that had nothing to do with governing. The world is round and all of you on the left that have suddenly grown this moral compass can just shut up and go away.

As far as Syed? Sure, let's give him a pass, after all laws are made to be broken, right? He ignored immigration laws, fathered children hoping to game the system, never wanted to attempt to gain legal status, and all of you libs scream "leave him alone." How about this. Let's just throw away the Miranda laws. Let's just come over to your house, kick in the door, plant some evidence in a bedroom, and then send you off to prison. You see, that's where the rule of law goes, eventually. Once the law begins to apply to some and not others, then those with the power decide who gets prosecuted. That's how we have over 11 million illegal aliens in our country. Somebody didn't want to enforce immigration laws. (Read Barack Obama here) We are seeing the unraveling of a lot of the corruption in the legal system with bad actors in the Justice Department and the FBI being shown the door. Not to mention the past administration's CIA Director and NSA Director could be implicated in this silent coup that has been discovered. So, call me a White Nationalist or a disciple of Church of the Second Amendment but make sure you include that I believe in your civil rights as well as mine. I also believe that if anyone is guilty of breaking the law, not accused, they should suffer the penalty for that. Whatever that penalty is adjudicated to be.

Glen Stovall 2 months ago

I re-read my brief comment to see if I mentioned your name and surprise! surprise!--- I didn't. Weird. I was only talking to those in The Church of the 2nd Amendment and White Nationalist Fellowship. And you are still OK with all of the illegal activities of our POTUS as well as his being a racist and having had at least one Nazi in the White House.

Brock Masters 2 months ago

Glen you must have missed this op ed. Suggest you read it.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 2 months ago

Yes, they belong together and would be if they had obeyed the law.

Brock Masters 2 months ago

Why is it that people, often with little education, are able to bring their families to the United States, but Jamal is not able to take his family with him to his home country?

Right, it is not true that he will be separated from his family if he is deported unless he chooses not to take them with him.

His 4 siblings followed the law and became citizens but Jamal did not. There are many other people legally seeking citizenship and permanent residence here so why should Jamal who either through laziness or incompetence did not become a citizen when he had 30 years to do so get a free pass.

Do we want someone who thumbs their nose at our law and who is either too lazy or too incompetent to become a citizen to be allowed to stay here? I don’t. Send him back and make room for an immigrant who is willing to become a citizen.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months ago

I believe that Jamal is a part of a minority in his home country, so it would be dangerous for him to return. But then the "pro-life" Republicans don't much care if he would die, so there is that.

Gary Stussie 2 months ago

Dorothy, I believe previous articles indicated he had returned "Home" several times.

Bob Smith 2 months ago

A "real" father wouldn't have put his family in the situation. (to borrow a tactic Dorothy likes to use)

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