On December 13, 2011, Mark Gomes, a school bus driver was getting ready for work when ICE agents banged on his door at 5:30 A.M. and arrested him on old immigration charges, separating him from his family. His 14-year-old United States citizen daughter, who suffers from epilepsy, has been severely affected both physically and emotionally by her father's detention and possible deportation.
He is now in North Georgia Detention Center and could be deported any day.
Mark Gomes and his wife fled Bangladesh in 1991 due to fear of persecution as a religious minority. They applied for asylum but the cases were denied despite what his wife says was a very strong case, "It lacked physical evidence". They appealed the case but were ultimately ordered removed in 2005. For the past four years they have been complying with ICE and reporting with the local ICE office under an order of supervision. Now ICE is trying to deport Mark to Bangladesh even though he had been cooperating with them and reporting in regularly.
Mark is a loving father and husband. He is a vibrant and beloved leader in his church community and in the Bengali community in Raleigh. Mark has no criminal records, and has been paying taxes for the past twenty years.
He is a bus driver for Wake County Public School System. He is missed by his coworkers and the students he transports safely to their homes. He has taught the students on his routes greetings and how to count in Bengali.
If he is deported it will cause great hardship for his family. Not only will the family be separated from their father, but also as the family's main breadwinner his family would face economic hardships, including the possibility of losing their home. His daughter requires constant care due to the unpredictable nature of epilepsy. Stressful events, such as this can trigger epileptic episodes.
Mark is like thousands of our community members, neighbors and co-workers who are subject to being detained and deported, deemed guilty by immigration status.
The family is asking for ICE to use their discretion to allow Mark to stay in the United States with his family. Please take action to stop Mark Gomes' deportation and keep the Gomes family together and share it with your friends and colleagues.