Many immigrants in Colorado and across the country are facing increased concerns about the threat of deportation and removal. However, the case of one active veteran provides some inspiration of the possibility of avoiding deportation through community action and involvement. One man who was born in Pakistan and lived in Australia before coming to the United States has been engaged for nine years in a battle to stop his deportation.
The man married his wife, a U.S. citizen, in 2001 and became a lawful permanent resident of the country. Both he and his wife are active in a range of community and charity organizations, including peace groups and activities to help the homeless. He served for several years in the National Guard and received multiple commendations. However, in 2009, immigration authorities began their bid for deportation and removal with a claim that he had made false statements when applying for residency.
Dozens of supporters of the couple have attended court hearings in Seattle in opposition to the man's deportation, despite frequent rescheduling and delays. On March 12, 2018, during a hearing in immigration court, supporters rallied outside speaking about the impact of the man on the community in general and their lives personally. At this hearing, the judge read out the decision granting lawful residence status to the man due to the extreme hardship his deportation would impose upon his U.S. citizen spouse.
Community advocacy as well as legal action both played a major role in helping this one man to avoid deportation and removal to a country he left approximately two decades before. Immigrants who are concerned that they are in danger of deportation or who have been told that their residency is at risk may benefit from consulting with an immigration lawyer. An attorney might be able to challenge the government's version of events and defend an immigrant's right to stay in the United States.