from: DNAinfo.com

2 Queens Teens Beg ICE Not to Deport Father Who Sought Political Asylum

 The Sharif family during Ramadan, before dad Bablu Sharif was detained by ICE.
The Sharif family during Ramadan, before dad Bablu Sharif was detained by ICE.

Courtest Sharif Family

By Katie Honan | October 10, 2017

JACKSON HEIGHTS — The teen daughters of a Bangladeshi man awaiting deportation at a detention center thousands of miles from Queens on Tuesday held a news conference to beg the president to bring him back home.

Simran Sharif, 18, and her sister Samiha, 14, wept inside their Jackson Heights tutoring center as they pleaded with President Donald Trump to not to deport their father, Bablu, back to Bangladesh.

The 52-year-old Uber driver moved to Woodside in 1992 with a political asylum application, but fell off with keeping up with his documentation, his daughters said.

"I love my dad very much," his youngest daughter said, surrounded by family and advocates. She's a freshman at Hunter College High School and hopes to one day go to Harvard University and become "the best lawyer in this country."

But she worries about who will take care of her family with her dad gone. Her mother is sick and unable to work.

"Who will take care of us if my dad is deported?" she said. 

Sharif was first detained by Immigrations Customs Enforcement in 2013 but released on a deferment because of his daughters' ages and legal status, the family said. He was granted a work visa and has recently worked as an Uber driver, his family said.

Since then he checked in with ICE yearly to renew his work permit — until his most recent visit June 22, when he was detained at the federal agency's Manhattan office.

He was first brought to a facility in Hudson County, New Jersey, but later transferred to ICE detention centers in Louisiana and Arizona.

And he's been at the Florence, Ariz. ICE detention center since September, where he calls as much as he can, crying for his daughters, they said.

Simran Sharif cries reading a plea to the president to bring her father back home to Queens. (DNAinfo/Katie Honan)

"We've been living with the American Dream until June 22, 2017," his eldest daughter said. She's a senior at the Academy of Finance and Enterprise in Long Island City and dreams of being a doctor — but she's lost interest in school.

"I don't want to go to school any more, my mom and sister cry all the time for my father," she said, breaking down in tears.

"I cry also, but I do not want to cry in front of my sister. I don't want to cry in front of anyone, because then people will not think I am a brave girl."

Ali Najmi, a lawyer and the political action director of the Alliance of South Asian American Labor, said Sharif doesn't have a criminal record and was a tax-paying dad.

He hoped to apply for citizenship when his daughters were old enough to sponsor him. 

"This is an American family that is being broken apart by an inhumane policy," he said.

Although they'd had support from elected officials, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sharif is being told he'll likely be deported soon — and they hoped an appeal to the president could work. 

An email to ICE representatives seeking comment was not immediately returned. 

Meanwhile the Sharif family said they are getting by with help from friends and family — but fearful of what comes next. 

"This is my country and I'm very afraid," Simran Sharif said. 

"I'm afraid what's going to happen to my little sister and me if my father does not come back home."

Officers

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

  1. Hon. Eric Adams
  2. George Arzt
  3. Lance Bass
  4. Charles Bayor
  5. John Blair
  6. Mark Benoit
  7. Hon. Rodneyse Bichotte
  8. Hon. Jonathan Bing
  9. Matthew Bond
  10. Erik Bottcher
  11. Hon. Gale Brewer
  12. Danny Burstein
  13. Robin Byrd
  14. Tiffany Cabán
  15. Christian Campbell
  16. Gus Christensen
  17. Hon. Martin Connor
  18. Tom Connor
  19. Hon. Jon Cooper
  20. Wilson Cruz
  21. Hon. Laurie Cumbo
  22. Alan Cumming
  23. Michael Czaczkes
  24. Hon. Bill de Blasio
  25. Aries Dela Cruz
  26. Jon Del Giorno
  27. Kyan Douglas
  28. James Duff
  29. Hon. Ronnie Eldridge
  30. Hon. Rafael Espinal
  31. Hon. Alan Fleishman
  32. Marc Fliedner
  33. Hon. Dan Garodnick
  34. William Gerlich
  35. Dan Gettleman
  36. Jason Goldman
  37. Emily Jane Goodman
  38. Hon. Mark Green
  39. Tony Hoffmann
  40. Hon. Brad Hoylman
  41. Binn Jakupi
  42. Hon. Letitia James
  43. Hon. Corey Johnson
  44. Camille Joseph
  45. Phillip Keane
  46. Suzanne Kessler
  47. Yetta Kurland
  48. Dodge Landesman
  49. Hon. Melissa Mark-Viverito
  50. Phillip McCarthy
  51. Matt McMorrow
  52. Michael Mallon
  53. Mike C. Manning
  54. David Mansur
  55. Cathy Marino-Thomas
  56. Troy Masters
  57. Hon. Carlos Menchaca
  58. Hon. Rosie Mendez
  59. John Cameron Mitchell
  60. Donny Moss
  61. Barry Mullineaux
  62. Denis O'Hare
  63. America Olivo Campbell
  64. Noah Pfefferbilt
  65. Josue Pierre
  66. Bob Pontarelli
  67. Billy Porter
  68. Hon. Keith Powers
  69. Randy Rainbow
  70. Hon. Gustavo Rivera
  71. Hon. Helen Rosenthal
  72. Maer Roshan
  73. Sheila Rule
  74. Toby Russo
  75. Bill Samuels
  76. James Sansum
  77. Scott Sartiano
  78. Hon. Arthur Schwartz
  79. Lynn Schulman
  80. Cecile Scott
  81. Frank Selvaggi
  82. Rev. Al Sharpton
  83. David Siffert
  84. Hon. Jo Anne Simon
  85. Kathy Slawinski
  86. Tom Smith
  87. Anne Strahle
  88. Hon. Scott Stringer
  89. Wayne Sunday
  90. Hon. Bill Thompson
  91. JD Thompson
  92. Bjorn Thorstad
  93. Hon. Matt Titone
  94. Jessica Walter
  95. Barry Weinberg
  96. Seth Weissman
  97. Hon. Jumaane Williams
  98. Emma Wolfe
  99. Hon. Keith Wright
  100. Zephyr Teachout