New Haven, Connecticut, May 24, 2017: A Connecticut imam has been detained by U.S. immigration agents and faces deportation to Pakistan.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Hafiz Abdul Hannan, the leader of the Masjid Al-Islam mosque in New Haven since 2013, was taken into custody at his home on Friday.
He was previously convicted of committing fraud in immigration documents and will remain in custody pending his removal from the United States, said Shawn Neudauer, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman.
Hannan previously served as a chaplain for the Middlesex House of Correction in Billerica, Massachusetts. He also was the leader of the Islamic Society of Greater Lowell in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
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He was one of 33 people arrested in 2006 in a nationwide investigation into immigrants who filled out phony applications for religious workers’ visas. At the time, leaders of the Islamic community in Massachusetts said the problem was an administrative error.
It was not immediately clear whether Hannan is represented by an attorney who can comment on his case.
A posting on the mosque’s website asks community members not to speak to the media about the situation.
Mosque leaders “will make a statement if deemed necessary with more insight into the situation,” it reads. (VOA)