September 30, 2011--
Nadia Habib came here as a child in 1993 with her mother and father from Bangladesh. Yesterday the state university student, her mother and supporters rallied outside a New York City federal building to fight deportation to their native Bangladesh.
About 100 people held signs and chanted "education, not deportation" as Nadia and Hazmin Habib arrived Thursday for the private hearing in Manhattan.
Nadia Habib's father has a green card. He tells WCBS that bad immigration lawyers failed to get proper documentation for his wife and daughter. Two other children born here after the Habib family came to the U.S. are considered citizens.
The college student who grew up in New York has won a temporary reprieve from immigration officials who had threatened to deport her to her native Bangladesh, which she left as an infant when her mother brought her to the United States. Immigration officials fingerprinted them, confiscated the Habibs' passports and put them under an order of supervision, which requires them to meet periodically with an immigration officer while their case is being reviewed. They weren't told when a decision would be made, though immigration officers said it was a high-priority case.
At Thursday's hearing in Manhattan, the mother and daughter were told they could remain in the country while the case is reviewed further. They were not told when a final decision would be made, according to the LA Times.
"Obviously it's a roller-coaster. I'm just really grateful to be able to stay here longer," Nadia, who turned 20 on Friday, told reporters after the hearing. She was surrounded by demonstrators who chanted and waved signs demanding immigration reform so that other families don't have to go through a similar ordeal.
The situation began when Nazmin Habib, Nadi’s mother, became ill and missed an immigration hearing in April, 2000 according to a court document. The judge conducted a hearing in absentia and denied her request of asylum based on past persecution in Bangladesh.
When the family tried to reopen the case by providing documentation that Nazmin was ill, the judge said the note was not credible because the doctor was not found on the court’s registered list of physicians. This was a clerical error that was never corrected.
Many immigrant children like Nadia Habib don't learn that they are illegal until their teens, when they're applying for a driver's license or to college.
"It's somewhat a victory," said Tania Mattos of the New York State Youth Leadership Coalition, a group of undocumented youth that led a campaign for Habib to stay. "They were so relieved and shaken up,” reported in the New York Daily News.