Tell me how this makes sense.
A 55-year-old Lawrence man who has lived, studied and worked in the United States for more than 30 years is close to being deported to Bangladesh, where he was born.
Yes, Syed Jamal overstayed a student visa in 2011 — so he could remain with his wife and three U.S.-born children. He was also attempting to earn his fifth degree, a doctorate from KU, since arriving in the U.S. in 1987.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement picked him up Jan. 24 — as he was preparing to take his children to school — and has detained him since. Letter-writing campaigns at Lawrence’s Plymouth Congregational Church and Lawrence Islamic Center produced hundreds of letters. An online petition has more than 27,000 signatures.
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This is not a man we want to send away. No criminal record. A scientist and college adjunct professor. Active in his children’s schools. He even applied for an open seat on the Lawrence school board, according to the Lawrence Journal-World.
Go ahead, tell me Jamal knew the rules, that he knew this could happen, that he shouldn’t be in this country.
Then I’ll question your compassion.
This is not the country we should be. Deportation of undocumented immigrants by ICE has increased during the Trump administration, though the president said initially that those immigrants with criminal records would be the targets.
But it’s moved past that, to where common sense is thrown aside.
We should be rooting for Jamal’s family and their lawyer, hoping they can successfully make the case that his life and service to his community is worth keeping in Lawrence — at home.