Saad Nabeel is a 19-year-old citizen of Bangladesh who had a taste of the American dream, only to have it snatched away by the often harsh realities of US immigration law. Nabeel grew up in San Francisco and won a scholarship to the University of Texas, Arlington to study electrical engineering. He now lives in Dhaka, separated from friends, and faces being stuck in a country and culture he has never truly known. He barely speaks the language.
Saad’s father brought his family, including toddler Saad, to America sixteen years ago and filed a political asylum claim. When the asylum claim was denied, the family was ordered deported but never left. Although his dad recently became eligible for a visa, it was not enough to prevent the family’s 2002 deportation order from being executed. They spent over a month in a New York detention facility before finally being flown back to Bangladesh. He is now subject to a ten year bar and would need an immigration waiver in order to re-enter. Right now, his chances of returning to the US look bleak.
Given that almost every immigration story I hear is heartbreaking, strict adherence to immigration law by US officials typically yields the most fair results for US citizens and foreign nationals alike. The results may be horrible, but the are laws are fairly administered. However, when babies are brought the US, integrated into mainstream US society, and have no experience with the culture, language or customs of their home country, exceptions really should be made.
For more on this story, join the Facebook group Bring Saad Nabeel Back Home to America.