HomeIndian AmericanProfessor Awaiting Deportation Hearing Released from Detention

Professor Awaiting Deportation Hearing Released from Detention

Syed Ahmed Jamal
Kansas professor Syed Ahmed Jamal was greeted by his wife outside the Pleatte County Jail Tuesday

Views from the Edge

The courtroom broke out into applause when a judge freed the Kansas professor being detained by ICE as a prelude to his deportation.

U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark said Tuesday  that though the government was entitled to detain Syed Ahmed Jamal for a reasonable period of time, his lack of a criminal history and his strong ties to Lawrence favored his release.

Jamal, who has lived in the area for more than 30 years and taught chemistry at the college level, had overstayed his visa and was detained by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in front of his home on Jan. 24 as he was preparing to take his daughter to school.

Although he is out of jail, that doesn’t end the deportation proceedings against Jamal. The father of three is still waiting to hear whether he’ll be deported.

The judge’s ruling is a major legal victory for Jamal, 55, whose plight drew national attention after he was arrested on Jan. 24 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on the front lawn of his Lawrence, Kansas, home as he was about to take his daughter to school.

ICE tried to deport Jamal Feb. 13 when, without notifying his attorneys, put him on a plane back to his home country. His legal team scrambled and was able to get a court to issue a stay of the deportation order until his hearings are over. Jamal was taken off the plane in Honolulu, HI, and returned to the Platte County Jail where he has been since.


The Kansas City community, neighbors and friends have rallied around Jamal”s plight.


A bill has been introduced in Congress that would override the deportation order and allow Jamal to remain in the U.S.

As he left the Platte County Jail, his wife and children were there to greet him. His 7-year old son said, “Dad, I haven’t seen you in forever!”

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