Bangladeshi Professor Facing Deportation Released from Jail in Kansas

Syed Ahmed Jamal is still awaiting a decision from the immigration board on his case.


Bangladeshi professor Syed Ahmed Jamal who was arrested on Jan. 24 from his home in Lawrence, Kansas, by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents has been freed from jail. The chemistry teacher was almost deported in February 2018 but the intervention of lawmakers and the general outcry slowed the process.

A U.S. District judge in Kansas City on March 20 ordered the release of Jamal from jail. He is still awaiting a decision from the immigration board on his case, according to reports.

The 55-year-old father of three was arrested on the front lawn of his home as he was about to take his daughter to school. He was held in Missouri jail until he was taken to a detention center in El Paso, Texas.

In February, he was taken off a plane to Bangladesh after a federal judge issued a temporary stay on his deportation. He was deboarded when the aircraft stopped in Hawaii for refueling. Later, he was taken back to Missouri and housed in a detention facility in Platte Co.

Jamal has been living in the United States for 30 years with his wife, who is also from Bangladesh, and three children who are American citizens. He came to the United States on a student visa. Later, he switched to an H-1B visa, and when he enrolled for a Ph.D. he switched back to a student visa. When he was arrested in January 2018, he had work authorization and was teaching chemistry as an adjunct professor at Park University in Kansas City, the Washington Post reported.

In February, Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins introduced a legislation titled “For the relief of Syed Ahmed Jamal and Zaynaub Jahan Chowdhury,” a private member bill in Congress that has the potential to provide the couple with permanent residentship in the country.

“He has a valid work authorization till October 2018, has been here with no criminal history whatsoever, and there’s no reason to hold him,” the law firm, Sharma-Crawford, said in February 2018. “We have confirmed that Syed Jamal is back in KC (Kansas City, Missouri), and being detained at the Platte County Jail.”

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Missouri, had also met Jamal when he was detained in El Paso, Texas to show support after he was flooded with calls by his supporters.

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