Syed Jamal's family finds hope amidst immigration battle

Posted at 2:21 PM, Feb 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-14 13:53:28-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After experiencing a roller coaster of emotions, the family of Syed Jamal felt some relief on Tuesday.

The chemist and father of three children was granted a second stay of removal on Monday as he was in the process of being deported to Bangladesh. On Tuesday, his attorney filed a motion asking the court to either send Jamal's case to Hawaii or return him to Missouri.

Jamal's attorneys posted on Facebook Wednesday morning that he would be back in Kansas City in the afternoon and that "he is coming home." 

Meanwhile, Rep. Lynn Jenkins introduced legislation that would grant Jamal and his wife lawful permanent status. 

Despite Jamal continuing to be held at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center in Hawaii, his brother told 41 Action News that the family was finding hope.

“It's the first time we can catch a breath,” said Syed Hussain Jamal, Syed Jamal’s brother. “For the moment, we're happy because we know he didn't leave the country."

Jamal was arrested by ICE agents on January 24 outside his home in Lawrence.

Since then, Jamal’s family has been unable to see or speak directly with him.

“I feel for my nephews and nieces and all the young ones that don't know what's going on,” his brother explained. “All we know is that he's in Honolulu, but he hasn't been able to call because he always calls the first chance he gets."

After getting a second stay of removal granted on Monday, Jamal’s attorneys hope to get the case reopened with the Board of Immigration Appeals.

“I imagine that his attorney will be asking that the stay be made permanent while she thoroughly reviews all the papers in his case,” explained longtime immigration attorney Allan Bell. “If the motion is granted, the case will probably be sent back here to Kansas City for a full-scale trial."

Bell, who has practiced immigration law for more than 50 years, said Jamal could be freed on bail if the case gets reopened.

In the meantime, Bell said Jamal would likely stay in federal custody as his case gets reviewed.

While many people continue to show support for Jamal, others have written 41 Action News saying Jamal should be deported because he broke a law. 

Becoming a permanent resident of the United States can be a tough task, according to Bell.

He speculated that Jamal likely thought help would come during the term of President Barack Obama after he stayed past his voluntary departure date in 2011.

“Many people in 2011 and 2012, like Syed Jamal, likely thought amnesty was coming,” he explained. “That is probably why millions of foreigners are in this lurch right now. They were basing their strategy on Hillary Clinton coming through with amnesty."

Moving forward, Bell said it will likely take at least a month before a decision comes down on whether to reopen Jamal’s case.

On Tuesday, Syed Jamal’s family continued to hope he will be able to stay in the country.

“We're hoping it ends well,” his brother said. “That's all we can do."