On the day that he was supposed to report to authorities with his passport and a one-way ticket to Bangladesh, Riaz Talukder was given a temporary reprieve by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE.
Talukder, whose wife is undergoing thyroid cancer treatment and whose two children are U.S. citizens, was to be deported because of his status as an undocumented immigrant. He has been living in the U.S. since he was 13.
“Now I feel good,” Talukder is quoted saying on CBSNewYork, adding, “Now I’m going to go to my wife and give her a big hug.” Talukder’s wife is scheduled for surgery in December, according to the news report.
Talukder’s case was taken up by advocacy groups who rallied behind him to publicize the situation and make a plea on his behalf to U.S. immigration authorities.
“Not having my dad is the end of the world for me and my brother and my mom,” 15-year-old son Rafi, a student at the Bronx High School of Science, is quoted saying in the CBSNewYork report.
Lucy Herschel, of the Jackson Heights Immigrant Solidarity Network told CBS Talukder holds a valid worker’s permit and Social Security number and has been under an order of supervision since 2010. He had been checking in with ICE as required since then. But last month he was told to return by Nov. 20 with his passport and an air ticket to Dacca.
Talukder did as he was told. Once there however, in the presence of “a large group of supporters, elected officials, and his own attorney” Talukder asked ICE to reconsider, CBS reported. His attorney, Edward Cuccia, said Talukder has been granted a six-month extension during which he said he would continue filing the paperwork needed to try to continue staying in the U.S.
Talukder’s earlier attempts at getting a Green Card on the road to citizenship had been stymied for several reasons – “Paperwork errors; he’s had prior bad attorneys,” according to Cuccia.