Greg Moses : Deporting Texas Student Was Big Mistake

Saad Nabeel. Photo by Shehab Uddin / Der Spiegel.

What the Times forgot to mention:
Story of deported Texas student
Awaits President in Dallas

By Greg Moses / The Rag Blog / August 9, 2010

While the New York Times Monday morning proclaims that the Obama administration is not deporting college students whose parents brought them to America at a young age, the President is headed toward a fundraiser in Dallas Monday night where one such case is well known.

Dallas real estate developer and immigrant rights advocate Ralph Isenberg bought tickets to the fundraiser with President Barack Obama so that he can plead for the speedy return of a young deportee from Texas. Isenberg has been working for several months to secure the return of 19-year-old who was deported to Bangladesh with his parents in early 2010.

If the New York Times is correct about what the Obama administration is trying to do, then the deportation of Saad Nabeel was a big mistake. He had lived in the USA since age three, completing grades six through twelve in Texas. When he was deported at age 18, Nabeel was studying electrical engineering on full scholarship at the University of Texas at Arlington

“I plan to tell the President that if he is looking for a poster child for someone who has been unfairly treated and who we need to do right by, then Saad Nabeel is perfect,” said Isenberg Saturday in a telephone interview with the Texas Civil Rights Review.

“There are multiple legal issues that we can pursue to try to get Saad back in the country,” said Isenberg. “But the quickest solution by far would be to pass a DREAM Act that includes an amendment for young persons who have been recently deported. Other legal issues would require lengthy legal actions — and the wait would do no good to Saad.”

If adopted by Congress and signed by the President, the DREAM Act would offer citizenship options to youth who were brought to the USA by migrant parents. When Isenberg approaches the President in Nabeel’s behalf, he will also be representing the opinions of Saad’s young friends who are this week preparing their returns to college life.

“I feel like everything that has happened in the past year was unnecessary,” explains Chris Anderson, one of Nabeel’s high school friends contacted by the Texas Civil Rights Review.

Saad was brought to America by his family when he was a young child. He lived like every other American by going to school, getting a job, and spending time with his friends and family. Everything that he knew and loved was in the United States, and one day he was just uprooted from college, thrown in jail for over a month, and shipped to a foreign third world country that he has no memory of.

Nabeel’s case has attracted media attention in Dallas and the German magazine Der Spiegel. Other international media have shown interest in the case. Isenberg agrees with Der Spiegel that Nabeel’s campaign to return to the USA has been helped by the young man’s fluency with computer skills.

Keeping tabs on news via computer in Bangladesh, Nabeel saw Monday’s New York Times report as soon as it hit his inbox as the morning’s top story. When asked via email what he would like to say to the President during Monday’s visit to Texas, Nabeel replied within two minutes:

I love America and would die for my country in a heartbeat. It is the only home that I know.

“Saad’s case is really rather compelling,” said Isenberg over the weekend. “Given the discretion that is available to immigration authorities, this thing could have so easily gone the other way. My hope is that the most powerful man in the world will at least take a brief interest.”

[Rag Blog contributor Greg Moses is editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review and author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. He can be reached at .]

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1 Response to Greg Moses : Deporting Texas Student Was Big Mistake

  1. Brother Jonah says:

    My brother-in-law, Seli, is of a similar case. His family moved to Hawaii when he was 2 years old, from Tonga. He’s living in Euless, between Dallas and Arlington, right now. He had a job at the airport loading food onto planes.As soon as the planes started flying again after 9/11, he was right back to work. Got a racist comment or two from passengers, one demanded that Seli not be allowed to load the food carts on the plane and demanded to be let off the plane, thus causing a flight delay, because they had allowed a quote “sand-nigger raghead” to work on the flight. Seli was polite, but firm, told the guy that he was an American, had lived all his life in America.

    One of my OTHER sisters, not the one married to Seli, was born in London.
    Because dad was in the Air Force. Born at home because it was a quick labor
    Born an American Citizen by every rule on the books, save that mom wasn’t on the air force base when the time came.

    She, and Seli, still get a fat load of Racist-inspired Immigration law horseshit every time they have to get their Drivers licenses renewed. When we came back to the States in 1965,Audrey was a year old. And, with her Embassy Birth Certificate, she was automatically an American Citizen.When she married a GI she traveled with him to Europe,more than once. She’s got a Military passport to go with the Citizenship. Should be No Problem.
    Somebody stole some of her belongings including the lock-box where she had her Original Birth Certificate, something the Anti-Immigrant crowd scream about President Obama not having.

    Hell, I was born in KANSAS, very near the center of the Contiguous U.S. I still get harassed both by Local Yokel Cops (the Ft Worth Police said I looked like Saddam Hussein) and the Border Patrol because I “look Mex”. So the hell what? My Cherokee ancestry gives me my dashing good looks. I guess they’re envious or something.

    But something else, important to the comment, I don’t have MY original Birth Certificate either. The same pricks who want to impeach Obama and have him deported for not proving to THEIR unreasonable level of satisfaction his citizenship and birthplace, would do the same for Me, or Seli or my sister.

    Nothing would satisfy them, not even total submission. So what’s needed is Total Rebellion against their Conformist Regime. We’re required to Look White in order to not be harassed and threatened and even assaulted.
    Ska-rew that noise.

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