U.S. Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Stop Bangladeshi Professor’s Deportation

Bangladeshi-origin chemistry teacher Syed Ahmed Jamal has received support from lawmakers and the community.


A Bangladeshi-origin chemistry teacher, Syed Ahmed Jamal, who was almost deported from the United States, has received major support from lawmakers and the community amid a tense climate around the issue of immigration in the country. Jamal was detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on Jan. 24 from his home in Kansas.

Republican lawmaker Lynn Jenkins of Kansas introduced on Feb. 14 H.R. 5010, 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. Their children are already U.S. citizens.

Jamal was deboarded from a plane that was taking him to Bangladesh and has been kept in a detention center in Missouri. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Missouri, met Jamal when he was detained in El Paso, Texas, after being flooded with calls expressing concern over the fate of the Bangladeshi immigrant, a statement by the lawmaker said. The Facebook page of law firm Sharma-Crawford’s shows a photo of Jamal speaking to Cleaver while he was incarcerated.

“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 said. “We have confirmed that Syed Jamal is back in KC (Kansas City, Missouri), and being detained at the Platte County Jail.”

On Feb. 12, a stay was ordered for his deportation. Meanwhile, there are campaigns on and GoFundMe to help Jamal from being deported.

Jamal came to the United States around 30 years ago 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.

  1. Immigration in the United States has become a major point of contention, with the administration looking to rid the country of immigrants through their proposed plan against family immigration and end of the diversity visa. The U.S. Senate rejected all four immigration bill proposals this week, leaving the “Dreamers” or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries in a limbo.

The DACA beneficiaries are people who came to the United States illegally as children below the age of 16. With the deferment in their deportation, they can study or get a job permit. The U.S. government is unwilling to continue the extension of the program beyond March even if the Congress doesn’t make a decision on it. Around 3,000-5,500 Indians are estimated to get affected by this. The administration is also trying to end the H4 work authorization for spouses of those on H-1B visa in the United States, which will affect many Indian families.

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