By Roque Planas
The Trump administration deported a Muslim man Thursday who was detained by Border Patrol even though he was married to a U.S. citizen, held a valid work authorization and had a pending green card application.
Adnan Asif Parveen said he was served pork sandwiches repeatedly while locked up in Border Patrol custody, in spite of his religious practices, as HuffPost reported in February.
“I’m shocked it actually happened,” Jennifer Asif, Adnan’s wife, told HuffPost. “I knew it was a possibility, but I thought in the back of my mind the good guy would win. I guess the opposite is happening to so many people, so I shouldn’t be so shocked.”
Asif, a Spanish citizen who was born in Pakistan, has no criminal record in the United States, according to his lawyer, and has not faced government allegations of wrongdoing abroad. He was arrested on Jan. 11 at a Border Patrol checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas, while driving a semi truck for work.
At the time, Asif held a work authorization and a pending application for a green card based on his marriage. The work authorization had expired on paper, but U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had automatically extended it for six months and it remained valid on Jan. 11. Border Patrol agents arrested him anyway.
While in Border Patrol custody for six days, Asif said he received only pork sandwiches every eight hours, despite his religious restrictions. Without access to other food, he picked off the meat and ate only the bread.
Asif also said that two investigators with Immigration and Customs Enforcement searched the social media accounts on his cell phone and questioned him about possible terrorist ties, including whether people who attended his mosque expressed anti-American sentiment. “I said, no, the mosque is where you go to pray,” Asif told HuffPost in February in an interview at the detention center.
After HuffPost first reported on Asif, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sent his wife a letter saying his green card application had been denied. The couple fought in court for him to be freed but ultimately failed.
Jennifer was lying in bed, about to go to sleep Wednesday evening, when she received a call from Asif to tell her he would be deported back to Spain that night, she said.
“It’s horrible,” Jennifer told HuffPost. “I don’t know how long we are going to be in separate countries either and I can’t even cover all the bills, let alone come up with travel money to see him. I’m relieved in the fact he is free now, and not suffering in there anymore, but everything else about it is awful and I feel sick over it … It’s kept us apart and messed up everything we built together.”
A Circular Argument
Asif was born in Pakistan but moved as a child to Spain, where he became a citizen. He entered the United States under the visa waiver program in 2014 to visit family. After meeting Jennifer on a trip to Columbus, Ohio, the two started dating. Not wanting to separate from her, he overstayed his visa, leaving him without legal immigration status.The two married in September 2016, on Jennifer’s 35th birthday. Because Asif had entered legally, he qualified to adjust his status and applied for a green card.
Categories: The Muslim Times