The two teenage daughters of Bablu Sharif pleaded with President Donald Trump this week not to deport their father—a Bangladeshi immigrant who has lived in the United States for 24 years—following his arrest by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in June.
Daughters Simran and Samiha—both of whom were born in the United States and are citizens—said their father is the family’s breadwinner and that policies under former President Barack Obama’s administration prevented Sharif from being deported as long as he worked, paid taxes and met with immigration enforcement annually.
Other than an incident in 2003 during which he was arrested for failing to check in with immigration enforcement, Sharif has followed those rules and been granted an extension. Currently, he is confined to a jail cell in Arizona, where his family said he awaits being shipped back to Bangladesh at any moment.
Naturally, the family is distraught and concerned that with Sharif out of the picture, they will be bereft.
The family is justified in referring to the possible deportation of Sharif as “inhumane.”
Currently, President Donald Trump’s administration—which has already attempted to block persons from entering our country on the basis of religion—is weighing even stricter immigration laws, such as ending extended-family migration and replacing it with a merit-based system or going after “dreamers,” who are young men and women brought to our country illegally through no fault of their own.
The United States has long been considered a beacon of hope for people around the world, who make their way to our shores to escape tyrannical governments and persecution or to pursue the American Dream. But since Trump has taken office, this nation’s treatment of immigrants sounds more similar to some of the places from which they fled.
Bablu Sharif poses no threat to the United States. His deportation poses a threat to the well-being of his family. Queens leaders who represent his family should step in to prevent an injustice against this family, and the president should recognize that the hard-line immigration policies that he is considering will hurt families—such as Sharif’s—and damage our nation’s reputation.