May 14, 2017: Gurmukh Singh had fled persecution in his country and had been in California, United States for nearly two decades after he lost appeal on the latest deportation order made by the U.S. government.
Singh, 47 who is married to Balwinder Kaur, is a father of two US-born daughters. He was taken into custody on Monday by failing to achieve a stay in his case.
In 1998, he sneaked into the United States without a visa via the Mexico border. He later tried to secure religious asylum within the United States but failed to do so. He was later ordered to deport.
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When Singh married his wife who is a US citizen in 2010, he was again surfaced to the deportation case. However this time with the new status of a residency visa.
He was subsequently jailed for five months. The decision proved to be a very difficult time for him and his family. But, after some right activists appealed for his bail he was finally released.
Even though he has been regularly checking with the department of Immigrant and Customs Enforcement, his outcome against the deportation order of 1999 is still pending.
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Alan Lowethal a democratic representative sponsored a private immigration bill last week in an attempt to fix Singh’s immigration status. Singh’s lawyers state that they have filed a request to put the deportation on hold.
Lately, Trump administration’s new laws on tightening the US-Mexico border and boost deportations which have been another major blow to Singh’s case.
The ICE chairperson Virginia Kice says even though America is a country of immigrants, it is a country of laws too.
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On Monday, he told reporters before his check-in that he was afraid of what would happen to his wife, who suffers diabetes, and his daughters, one who is soon headed to college, if he were taken into custody.
“We are completely devastated. This has completely broken us apart, emotionally and physically,” Singh’s 18-year-old daughter Manpreet told AFP.
She said her father has no criminal record, has always paid his taxes and just sought to “live a normal life and feed his family.”
“Watching him emotionally break down is probably the last thing any daughter wants to see,” Manpreet said, her voice breaking.
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