Stop the wasteful and unnecessary deportation of Ibrahim Parlak!
This petition had 38,458 supporters
By the time Ibrahim Parlak arrived in the U.S. in 1991, he had endured warfare, imprisonment, and torture in his homeland of Turkey. He is a Kurd, an ethnic minority that has historically been subjected to discrimination by Turks. When Ibrahim was granted asylum in Chicago, he was so grateful. He sought to build a new life free from persecution, and wanted only to be the best American he could be.
Then 9/11 happened, and Kurds who had been politically active in their homeland came onto the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) radar. Without warning, and without cause, Ibrahim was imprisoned in 2004. But by then, he had the love and respect of his community. Hundreds of supporters fought for, and secured, his release.
He has the backing of Congresspersons, several journalists, and former counsel to the FBI on terrorism. Michigan Senator Carl Levin and Rep. Fred Upton introduced a series of private bills to protect Ibrahim from deportation. But Levin is now retired. And these protections for my gentle and industrious 52-year-old brother-in-law, Ibrahim Parlak, expired on December 23rd. He now has a 90 day extension – until March 21st, 2016. After this date, he might actually be forced from his home and family, to face possible renewed persecution or death in Turkey or an unknown country. I am in shock.
This man is a devoted father to his American daughter (my niece), a small business owner, job creator, taxpayer, and a pillar of his community. Please, help me call on President Obama, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, ICE, Sen. Gary Peters MI, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow MI to take the necessary action in Ibrahim Parlak’s case that will allow him to live in peace and freedom permanently in the United States, his home.
When he first arrived, Ibrahim worked as a busboy. As soon as he could, he started his own restaurant with two knives and three pots, and did all the work himself until he earned enough to hire help. Today, 20 years later, his restaurant is famous and beloved in his Michigan town, and he provides many jobs to the community. His daughter is thriving at college, and he is certainly the best brother-in-law I could ask for.
We appreciate that the task of protecting our country is monumental right now. But discernment is key at such times -- our government must be able to distinguish between someone who poses a real threat to our security, and someone who is a genuine asset to our country. Few people suffer as he did, or make as much of what this country offers. As Ibrahim said, America provided him "with the opportunity to become someone." Here, "if you live by the rules and work hard...dreams can come true."
The clock is ticking! Let’s not take this upstanding man’s dreams away from him. In the name of decency, President Obama, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, ICE, Sen. Gary Peters MI, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow MI we implore you to act decisively on behalf of Ibrahim Parlak, and allow him to continue the good work he does in his family and community here in the U.S.
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