USCIS & ICE: Stop the Deportation of the Saleem Family!
Our world was turned upside-down May 15th 2013, when we received a letter that contained evidence collected over more than ten years - evidence that relied heavily on a scorned ex-wife’s testimony that my father-in-law, Abdul Saleem, committed marriage-fraud in order to attain permanent residency. This information even included the accusation that my husband, Shoaib Saleem, was not actually his father’s son due to the color of his skin.
My name is Jennifer Hansen (petition starter). I married my husband in 2009, and according to Pakistani Muslim culture, his parents welcomed me into their house as if I was their true daughter: I was honored and amazed to be part of such a close-knit, loving family. Any spare time - nights, weekends, holidays - are spent together playing games, watching movies, telling stories. We don’t have much and make only enough to get by, but being together is all we need.
Now, due to my father-in-law’s history with ICE and USCIS, my whole family - brothers-, sister-, and mother-in-law are at risk for deportation after our scheduled hearing on June 11th, 2013. They would be devastated to leave the US, having been here since July 2, 2003. After 10 years of residency the United States has become their home.
My sister-in-law Iqra Saleem (A 136-164-711) has been here since she was 7 ½, speaks more english than Urdu, loves to dance and is part of a special program in her high school that places hard-working students in internships in labs & science careers: she hopes to be a veterinarian. Deportation would mean she would have to abandon her education, and most likely be married soon. She is only 17 now.
My oldest brother-in-law Zohaib Saleem (A 096-537-227) is graduating from college in June of this year: he is the first of their family to complete a four year degree! He is devoted to providing for the family, something he can’t do if he is deported to Pakistan. There, the employment opportunities favor those with connections to politics and wealth: my family have none. He is an environmentalist and has a deep love of animals and nature.
Saqib Saleem (A 096-537-226), my younger brother-in-law, plans to transfer to SF State in the fall. He holds a part-time job in addition to his full-time school schedule in order to pay for his own schooling. He and my sister-in-law are the definition of what the DREAM act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) requires: hard-working, never been arrested or cited for any infraction of the law, and of good moral character. He also represents our country on the USA cricket team as one of their key players.
My mother-in-law Fareeda Saleem (A 136-164-713) loves this country for many reasons, her favorite is the safety of this country, being able to walk to the store without fear for her body or honor. she is a homemaker and a fixture of our neighborhood. If family, friends, neighbors or strangers need something, she is always eager and willing to help, knowing what it is like to be without, or worse.
Finally, my father-in-law, Abdul Saleem, (who ICE has labeled a “criminal” and “highly likely to commit fraud” in their allegations) has commited no crimes. He says if USCIS will leave his family alone, he would go back to Pakistan voluntarily. The only thing he ever wanted was for his children to be able to grow up in a land of opportunity and freedom. They enjoy the freedom of affordable education, healthy food, clean water, and employment opportunity. He hopes that ICE will drop the charges and allow our family to file for residency and citizenship, legally.
We believe in America, and the American Dream. There is so much my family have to offer this country, but deportation will end their chances of a better life. Please allow them to remain here lawfully, so they can realize their dream and give back to the country that provided them such opportunities. My mother, father and siblings are not criminals, and are not a priority for deportation. We respectfully request deferred action for Abdul, Fareeda, Zohaib, Iqra & Saqib Saleem!