Reno family could be split apart as father faces deportation
RENO, Nev. (News 4) —
UPDATE: (7-20-2017): ICE called the family to their office not the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
A Reno family is split apart by the legal enforcement that’s happening across the country.
Sabah and Sara Kahn are feeling it firsthand. On July 7, Immigration and Customs Enforcement took their father, Md, into custody for his immigration status.
Naima and Md Kahn, who have married since 2007, immigrated to Reno from Bangladesh. She’s a naturalized citizen whose been in the United States since 2004. Naima said her husband has been here since 1999, working and paying taxes.
Niama said federal officials called her husband.
“He was called in on the false pretense that you come in and we need to make a voice recording to make sure that it is your voice that you would be reporting under,” she said through an interpreter.
Naima said she was at the meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement with Md. But she stepped out of the office when the kids were fussing. That’s when she said the agent slapped cuffs on Md.
“I started crying and that's not something I do; and they commanded me not to cry, not to sob and if you continue doing this we're going to arrest you as well and send you back with him,” Naima said.
ICE tells News 4 that Md is still in the custody. Spokeswoman Lori Haley said Md entered the country illegally more than 17 years ago and after losing two appeals, in 2005 and 2008, he is set to be deported back to Bangladesh.
The Kahns' case is not an isolated one.
“As far as the general fear and anxiety, it's definitely increased with the new administration,” said James Conway, attorney and Executive Director for Washoe Legal Services in Reno.
He said there’s a lot of anxiety from immigrants, whether they’re documented or undocumented.
“There haven't been many clear policy changes, but just with all the talk of immigration, talk about deportation, that's what's driving most of the fear. People just don't know where they stand,” Conway said.
Another Reno attorney told News 4 that he was so busy with immigration questions and cases, it took up too much of his time, so now he’s not practicing immigration law at all.
Naima hopes she'd be able to stay in her small apartment in Reno.
“With my two American-born children I'm at a loss as to how to continue my life here in this county without him. If he were to be deported I could not probably continue economically,” she said.
Naima said if her husband is deported back to Bangladesh he will file the paperwork to come back to the United States.
Naima is just worried for her children due to being away from their father for nearly a month.
“It has some noticeable impact on them psychologically… It seems like they're looking for their father."