PARKVILLE, Mo. — Lawrence, Kansas chemist Syed Jamal, whose fight to stay in the U.S. drew national attention last year, spoke at Park University Tuesday, where he was once a professor.
Jamal talked about his experience last January when immigration agents arrested him for over-staying his visa. Jamal was in the United States for 30 years on a visa and moved from student to researcher to professor.
His wife, their three children and hundreds of friends were shocked when Jamal was arrested. After family, friends and attorneys appealed, the immigration court issued a stay and Jamal was allowed to remain in the United States until a court hearing to decide if his visa should have been revoked and whether or not he should be deported to his home country, Bangladesh.
During his comments Tuesday in the chapel at Park University, Jamal talked about the emotional toll his ordeal took on his family.
"I am pretty hearty, so I can handle it. But the effects on the heart and mind that you cannot see," said Jamal.
He explained that his children sometimes have trouble focusing because they're worried that their father could be deported.
Jamal said he is writing a book about his experiences and is hopeful that the immigration system will be revised so no one else will have to endure the agony and trauma his family experienced.
"I think people should seek a middle ground and try to see if you can do this globally because see now in many parts of the world, similar problems are happening," said Jamal.
His next court appearance is scheduled for later this month, but Jamal said it may be delayed until next April.