The case of New Haven woman Salma Sikandar remains in limbo after a hearing before an immigration judge Monday. Sikander, who’s originally from Bangladesh, is subject to a deportation order, but her attorney is arguing for clemency. So far it is unclear when the judge will give the ruling.
Sikandar came to the United States 20 years ago on a tourist visa, while her husband Anwar Mahmud -- also from Bangladesh -- entered the U.S as a political refugee eight years prior. They met in New York City, married, and had a son who is now a rising sophomore at Quinnipiac University.
According to her son Samir Mahmud, Salma Sikandar received a deportation order from Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the summer of 2018. Speaking on Connecticut Public Radio's Where We Live, Mahmud said the order stated that his mother had two months to buy a one way flight back to Bangladesh, just a few days before his eighteenth birthday. At that time her family fought the order in court, and a judge granted her a one year stay.
Now, one year later, the family is back in immigration court. Monday, dozens of Connecticut residents stood outside of the federal office building in Hartford that houses the local office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, holding signs that condemned deportation and family separation.
“This case actually represents the most fundamental principles of the immigration in this country, family unity and freedom of religion,” said the family’s attorney Robert Wang. “We are really ready to give Anwar and his family the protection and also have their family stay here, have their son continue going to college, and get support from his parents.”
Wang said that they would not have reached this point had they not received support from the public last year. They hope that the same results can be accomplished again.
According to the attorney, the best case scenario for the family is that they will be granted the opportunity for Sikander to apply for a green card next year.