A 50-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant and father of two was recently granted a one-year stay of deportation, following years of snafus that prevented him from obtaining a green card.
Ahmed Hossain arrived in the United States in 1992 on a visitor visa. Once in the country, the political activist sought asylum, started the green card application process, settled in New York City and became a taxi driver.
Hossain’s travails began when an attorney improperly filled out an immigration form, causing his initial requests for legal residency status to be denied. His fortunes seemed to change when he won a green card through the U.S. State Department’s annual diversity lottery, but his interview was scheduled for September 11, 2001. There were no more green cards available by the time he was able to reschedule, his counsel told the New York Daily News.
Even after he wed a U.S. citizen, Hossain found himself unable to get a green card through marriage due to continuing complications related to past application errors.
Facing imminent deportation, Hossain – who is now a father of two – reached out to lawmakers and immigrant advocacy groups, which petitioned the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to review his case. On November 4, he received word from the office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand that ICE had granted him a one-year stay and would allow him to apply for an employment authorization document, local news station NY1 reported.
Hossain’s wife told the Daily News she would not have been able to survive if the family had been separated.
A recent Applied Research Center study found that historic numbers of deportations have torn apart many families in the United States. In the first six months of 2011, 46,000 people were deported who were the mother or father of a child with American citizenship, the report stated. ARC estimated there are more than 5,000 children in foster care as the result of parental deportations.