In legal rollercoaster, deportation of Kansas dad stopped mid-flight, gets sent to Missouri jail

Syed Ahmed Jamal, the Kansas dad and professor arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in his own front yard as he was taking his young daughter to school, was pulled off a plane in Hawaii earlier this week after he was granted a temporary stay of deportation. But while he has been returned to the mainland, he’s now in a Missouri jail and his “ultimate fate is still completely up to federal immigration authorities and could take months to resolve, his attorney said”:

While immigration officials could allow Jamal to return to Lawrence under orders of supervision, they also could keep him in the Missouri jail, or they could send him to any other detention center, [attorney Rekha] Sharma-Crawford said during a news conference outside the jail. She said supporters and his family were hoping he would be released while awaiting what could be a months-long appeal process before the Board of Immigration Appeals. She noted Jamal already was under a valid order of supervision when he was arrested, has job to return to, valid identification such as a Social Security number, and strong support from his family and many people in Lawrence.

According to the Kansas City Star, Jamal has been transferred five times during the past three weeks and had been “sent to Hawaii apparently without his lawyers’ knowledge … after a judge had dissolved the stay of removal that he had issued to Jamal.” His attorneys filed another motion that halted his deportation yet again. “[ICE] has the determination, the authority and the discretion to let him go home,” Sharma-Crawford said. “At this point, it makes little sense to keep him detained”:

Jamal was able to talk briefly with his family and attorney after he arrived at the jail and was happy but shocked by everything that had occurred since his arrest, although he didn’t know all the details, said his brother, Syed Hussein Jamal. The family was relieved that his brother was close enough to visit but are still hoping he will be allowed out of custody, Hussein Jamal said.

“We’re asking ICE to do the right thing, do the family thing, let the man out so he can at least be with his family and community,” he said.