Scene, Week of March 28, 2013
Tahmina Islam and her son, Dawood, 2, were among a group of three Bengali families from Jamaica Heights who rallied outside Judson Church in the Village last Friday afternoon, calling on the government to release the families’ fathers. All three men are being held awaiting deportation. The children were born in America and thus are citizens. The fathers would have had to leave the U.S. and re-enter to gain residency, but weren’t guaranteed they’d be able to get back in. Rashid Muhammad, the kids’ tutor, led them in chanting, “I want my Dad back now!” “I want to go to Harvard!” “I want to go to Stuyvesant!” “How can I do it if Dad is in jail?” “Taking care of family is no crime!” Mazeda Uddin, an organizer with the Alliance of South Asian American Labor, said losing their fathers has been particularly tough on the families because Southeast Asian woman depend on their husbands’ income. They’ll be going to Washington April 10 in a convoy of 10 buses to lobby congressmembers and senators for immigration reform.
– Lincoln Anderson