PLATTE COUNTY, Mo. -- A federal judge has ordered the immediate release of Syed Jamal, the Park University professor at the center of an immigration battle
A hearing regarding the detainment of Jamal took place Tuesday. The judge ordered that Jamal would be released from custody while the legal battle proceeds.
ICE picked up Jamal, who is from Bangladesh, while he was on his driveway in Lawrence in January. He’s been incarcerated ever since; first in Morgan County, Mo., then in Texas, then to Hawaii, and finally at the Platte County jail. Jamal, 55, had been in the United States for more than 30 years when ICE came and arrested him for twice overstaying his visa.
The hearing was set to determine if Jamal's detainment is proper and essentially necessary. Around 12:30 p.m., we learned that the judge had ordered Jamal's release.
"One, that they are going through this process is painful to see but second the fact that he's being detained, kept from his family at a time when he could be release," Alan Claus Anderson with Polsenelli Law Firm said. "He has a job waiting for him, he has three beautiful children, a great wife, that are all waiting for him to be home while the process goes through and the government has the ability and authority to do that and they've chosen not to. That's painful to see because it's not necessary."
Jamal's counsel said they will argue that he should be with his family and able to work while that case plays out. The board of immigration appeals could take months or even a year to unfold.
"We're intentionally inflicting harm on a family when we don't need to do that," Anderson added. "There's no good reason in fact there's only bad reasons to do that."
Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, who has been a Jamal supporter throughout his ordeal, released a statement.
Over the past 30 years, Syed Jamal has been living, learning, working, paying taxes, and ultimately raising three all-star American born kids with his wife Angela right here in Kansas. With limited resources and violent, criminal illegal immigrants still in our country, the fact that our government would prioritize resources to attempt to deport Syed is offensive to our common sense and a fiscally reckless use of taxpayer dollars. Syed is the type of immigrant our nation always has and should continue to welcome, exactly the type of immigrant this "nation of immigrants" was built by.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II also released a statement Tuesday.
I am pleased to hear that Mr. Syed Jamal will be able to spend some much needed time with his wife and children but this is far from over. A federal judge released Mr. Jamal from a Missouri County detention center today but he still faces deportation. The current immigration system is broken and affects families who have responsibilities and deep ties to their communities. We must fix these laws that criminalize hard-working, contributing members of society like Mr. Syed Jamal and that’s what I plan to push for in Congress.