Today is the deadline for thousands of men from mostly Muslim countries to undergo 'special registration' by the Immigration and Naturalization Service under the controversial new National Security Entry-Exit Registration System.
By today, all men over the age of 16 from the following countries must register:Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
The Washington Post reports the new registration requirement has caused widespread confusion and panic in Muslim immigrant communities across the US. Lines at INS offices have grown so long this week that registrants at some locations have arrived before 5 in the morning to avoid being turned away. Once inside, the men and teenagers are fingerprinted, photographed and questioned. If their visas are expired or if they have otherwise violated U.S. immigration law, they may be detained and deported.
Well on this day we bring you a hopeful story. It is the story of Faisal Ulvie, a Pakistani immigrant who came so close to being deported he was on the airport tarmac when INS authorities received a cell phone call from a federal judge ordering them to pull Faisal off the plane.
Ulvie traveled to the United States six years ago and applied for political asylum. But after he missed an asylum hearing, he received deportation orders.
Ulvie remained in the country and married a US citizen, Nadine Young. He helped raise Nadine’s two children. Last year, they had a child of their own named Shaheen.
Faisal Ulvie was picked up by the INS in November.
Well, yesterday the Ulvie family won a major victory. Federal Immigration Judge Patricia Rohan gave Faisal permission to file a marriage petition with the INS. If the judge had not granted this permission, he would have been deported.
- Faisal Ulvie, Pakistani immigrant who is married to a US citizen, but was nearly deported.
- Elizabeth Ouyang, attorney for the Ulvie family.
- Rep. Nydia Velázquez, (D-NY) Rep. Velázquez is the first Puerto Rican woman elected to the United States House of Representatives. She was first elected to Congress in 1992 to represent the 12th district of New York, which encompasses parts of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.
- Ahsanullah Khan, Director and co-founder of the Coney Island Avenue Project. The organization advocates for the rights of Pakistani immigrants.
- Nadine Ulvie, US citizen from Brooklyn and wife of Faisal Ulvie, speaking at the press conference outside the Federal Building in Manhattan yesterday.