Local chemist, father returns to Kansas City as deportation figh - KCTV5 News

Local chemist, father returns to Kansas City as deportation fight continues

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Syed Ahmed Jamal, 55, a native of Bangladesh who has lived in the U.S. for more than 30 years, was arrested Jan. 24 in the front yard of his home in Lawrence as he walked his children to school. (Submitted) Syed Ahmed Jamal, 55, a native of Bangladesh who has lived in the U.S. for more than 30 years, was arrested Jan. 24 in the front yard of his home in Lawrence as he walked his children to school. (Submitted)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A Kansas father fighting efforts by the U.S. to deport him to Bangladesh was returned Wednesday to Missouri from Honolulu, even as members of Congress push legislation that would make him and his wife lawful permanent residents.

Syed Ahmed Jamal, 55, was being held Wednesday afternoon in the Platte County, Missouri, jail, his attorney, Rekha Sharma-Crawford, said on Facebook. The post did not give any other details.

U.S. immigration officials put Jamal on a plane bound for Bangladesh Monday before an immigration panel granted a temporary stay in the case. He was taken off the flight when it stopped to refuel in Honolulu and his attorneys had announced earlier Wednesday that he was returning to the Kansas City area.

Family spokesman Alan Anderson said the hope is that Jamal will be allowed to stay with his wife, 44-year-old Angela Jamal, and three children in Lawrence, Kansas, under an "order of supervision" while the family fights the matter in the courts, which could take months.

Jamal's return came one day after Republican U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, whose district includes Lawrence, introduced a bill that would provide for the "relief" of Jamal and his wife, whose legal name is Zaynaub Jahan Chowdhury. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat from Missouri who has also taken up Jamal's case, helped draft the bill and "fully supports" it, said spokeswoman Heather Frierson.

"If there is no way to get him out of custody, at least the family can visit him," said Rekha Sharma-Crawford, the family's attorney. "See him. I think he is very, very eager to see his wife and children."

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."

Jamal, who has worked as an adjunct professor and researcher at Kansas City-area colleges, has been battling his deportation since Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested him Jan. 24 at his family's home.

Jamal entered the U.S. legally in 1987 to attend the University of Kansas but overstayed his visa while pursuing a doctorate. He was ordered deported in 2011 but had been allowed to stay in the U.S. and check in regularly with immigration authorities. Sharma-Crawford said Jamal has a work permit that is valid until October and that he was trying to work within what she calls a complicated immigration system.

His wife, who also is from Bangladesh, came to the U.S. in 2002, and there also was an order for her removal several years ago, Frierson said. The couple's children are U.S. citizens.

"Just to know we are so close to him it is really good," said Taseen Jamal, the family's 14-year-old son. "It's a good feeling."

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.

If he was placed on an order of supervision, he could return to his family as they wait for a decision. 

The family was able to speak to him today by phone but at last check had not been able to visit him inside the jail. 

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 

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