Syed Jamal is back in Missouri; Jenkins proposes bill to help him

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Attorneys for a Kansas man fighting deportation to Bangladesh say he has been returned to Missouri.

Rekha Sharma-Crawford, an attorney for 55-year-old Syed Ahmed Jamal, posted on Facebook Wednesday afternoon that he was being held in the Platte County, Missouri, jail, about 25 miles north of Kansas City. The post did not provide any other details.

It's the latest move in a deportation fight that began Jan. 24, when Jamal was arrested at his home in Lawrence. He was held in Missouri jails until being taken to a detention center in El Paso, Texas. On Monday, immigration officials put him on a plane back to Bangladesh. After a federal judge issued a temporary stay, Jamal was taken off the plane when it stopped to refuel in Hawaii.

Jamal has lived in the U.S. for 30 years with his wife, who is also from Bangladesh, and three children who are U.S. citizens.

Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins has introduced legislation that would help a father who is fighting efforts by the U.S. to deport him to Bangladesh.

The bill that Jenkins introduced Tuesday would provide for the "relief" of 55-year-old Syed Ahmed Jamal. In a statement to 13 NEWS, the Republican Congresswoman's office said she has been talking to ICE, US Citizen and Immigration Services, and other federal agencies ever since Jamal's family reached out to her office.

"She is urging ICE to allow Mr. Jamal to return to his family while this process continues and is hopeful that an appropriate solution can be reached for a man who who has spent 30 years here and is well respected and valued in the Lawrence community," it continued. (Read full statement below)

U.S. immigration officials put Jamal on a plane bound for his native county Monday before an immigration panel granted a temporary stay in the case. His attorney, Rekha Sharma-Crawford, said he was taken off the flight when it stopped to refuel in Honolulu.

Sharma-Crawford says government attorneys have indicated they're coordinating efforts to bring Jamal to the Kansas City area.

Jamal has lived in the Kansas for 30 years and has worked as an adjunct professor and researcher. Jenkins says her "heart aches" for his wife and children.

Jenkins' full statement on Syed Jamal:

"Congresswoman Jenkins has been actively engaged with ICE, USCIS, other federal agencies and his family on this matter from the moment Mr. Jamal’s family contacted our office. Meanwhile, she has worked with Congressman Cleaver to explore potential legislative options to assist Syed and his family. One such solution is a private bill, which Congresswoman Jenkins filed yesterday evening. She is urging ICE to allow Mr. Jamal to return to his family while this process continues and is hopeful that an appropriate solution can be reached for a man who who has spent 30 years here and is well respected and valued in the Lawrence community."