In Lawrence, Kansas, Syed Ahmed Jamal was getting ready to take his daughter to school when he was stopped outside his home. Jamal was on a temporary work permit, teaching chemistry as an adjunct professor at Park University in Kansas City and conducting research at various local hospitals. Jamal came to the US on a student visa from Bangladesh about 30 years ago. He graduated with graduate degrees in molecular biosciences and pharmaceutical engineering, and then settle in Lawrence to raise a family. He then switched from student visas to an H-1B visa for highly skilled workers, then back to a student visa when he enrolled in a doctoral programme, his family said.
In a statement to The Washington Post, an ICE official said the agency “continues to focus its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security.” Jamal’s arrest is also the latest example of ICE agents abruptly targeting non citizens with no criminal record who have, in the past, been allowed to stay in the country because they were seen as contributing positively to society, according to Jeffrey Y Bennett, an immigration lawyer who filed a request to stay Jamal’s deportation last week.