Apparent targeting of family whose relative was convicted of terror attack prompts accusations of ‘collective punishment’
Aviva Stahl in New York
Sat 30 Nov 2019
A New Yorker who gained US citizenship as a child is suddenly facing deportation, along with several green card-holding members of his family, after apparent targeting by the Trump administration in what the family believes is a clear case of anti-Muslim bias.
None of the individuals have a criminal record, and say the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) only raised questions about the validity of their immigration status after another relative was arrested following a terrorist incident in the city. The government’s actions have alarmed advocates and led to them accusing officials of meting out unfair “collective punishment”.
Ahsan Ullah, 32, an electrician from Brooklyn, was placed in immigration detention in Kearny, New Jersey, on 22 October. He spent about four weeks separated from his American wife and three children before being released on bond last Tuesday pending the outcome of his case.
Four of his relatives, who all hold green cards, are also fighting government efforts to strip them of their US residency status. Since Trump came into office, the number of such denaturalization and citizenship revocation cases filed by DHS has surged.
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