Congressman Cleaver visits Syed Jamal in Texas - KCTV5 News

Congressman Cleaver visits Syed Jamal in Texas

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(Submitted to KCTV by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver) (Submitted to KCTV by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver)

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver visited with Syed Jamal in Texas on Saturday.

Jamal is currently detained in the El Paso Detention Facility, where he will remain until a decision on his motion is made.

Cleaver flew to Texas yesterday with Jamal's attorney and to check on his wellbeing.

He brought with him a picture drawn by Jamal's youngest son. It said: "I miss my dad."

Cleaver returned to Kansas City to attend a "Free Syed" rally planned for today at 3 p.m. It was held at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church at 4501 Walnut St. in KC.

Cleaver said he is proposing a private bill that would essentially extend Jamal's stay until his status is sorted out in the courts. 

At the rally, he also spoke about immigration reform. 

He has been careful not to criticize ICE for the arrest. He said, “ICE is not the problem. The problem is something we can’t see.”

Jamal's brother spoke about his family's case. They live in Kansas, but they reached out to Cleaver's office in Missouri for help. 

The rally also focused on other families with loved ones who face deportation, as well as DREAM Act recipients. 


Jamal is a local educator, teacher, and father who spent 30 years in the U.S., but was taken into custody by immigration officials on Jan. 24.

ICE took him into custody in his yard in Lawrence as he was getting ready to take his children to school. 

He is originally from Bangladesh and his attorney said he overstayed a voluntary departure notice in 2011, but that the government allowed him to stay in the U.S. under supervision. 

On Feb. 8, his family learned that a 10-day stay had been granted and that he would not be deported.

Previous coverage:

Local teacher taken into custody by ICE after living in US for 30 years

Family says Kansas chemistry professor granted stay after arrest by ICE agents

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