Deportation scare continues for Quinnipiac student’s mother

Olivia Schueller

Nearly one year after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) threatened to deport a rising Quinnipiac sophomore’s mother, the fight continues to keep Samir Mahmud’s mother, Salma Reza Sikandar, in the country. 

“In July we have our final hearing, for both my mother and father,” Mahmud said. “That’ll decide if they become U.S. citizens or not and receive their green cards.”

Last August, Mahmud thought he would start his freshman year of college without his mother. Sikandar stayed past her 1999 tourist visa, but filed a hardship application to remain in the country because of her newborn son, an American-born citizen. During a scheduled visit to Connecticut’s Hartford office of ICE, Sikandar was told she would have to leave the country and return to Bangladesh.

Samir with his parents Salma and Anwar Mahmud at the Hunger Strike Courtesy:

The Mahmud family faced months of fear in the unknown future of Sikandar’s stay in the U.S. They worked with government officials, organizations and the community to help their case. Days before Mahmud started his freshman year at Quinnipiac, ICE extended his mother’s visa.

Today, Mahmud’s parents are still working to gain citizenship in the U.S. His father, Anwar Mahmud, filed a political asylum years ago. A political asylum gives someone a refugee status.

“The latest updates received was to work hard on getting evidence that Bangladesh is a dangerous country to live in,” Mahmud said.

The family’s lawyers are working to get information that will help the case until the scheduled court date in July.

“We’ve been asked by our lawyers to help get a deeper meaning and overall help to build the evidence to help the judge lean towards our favor,” Mahmud said.

The unknown faith to his mother’s deportation is something Mahmud often thinks about.

“They assured me my mother would be safe because there are procedures if they do not win,” Mahmud said.

The Quinnipiac student doesn’t think ICE will deport his mother. 

She’s been going through these steps ever since she came in 1998, paying taxes, filling for work authorization,” Mahmud said. “The only difference she has between someone else is the green card. Other than that, in my opinion, she’s a citizen and legal immigrant.”

The Mahmud family with Connecticut Attorney General, William Tong

Mahmud’s emotions are scattered. Sometimes he feels proud of his community and government officials for rallying behind his family, but other times he is scared of what the future may hold for his family. 

But the family’s strength remains. 

“I feel very grateful and thankful to God, the supporters, the school and the government for all coming together,” Anwar Mahmud, Samir Mahmud’s father, said.

The hearing for Samir’s parents’ citizenship in the U.S., along with their deportation,  is scheduled for July 15, 2019.