by Greg Moses
Citing concerns for his own safety, 19-year-old Saad Nabeel has resigned from a college in Malaysia as supporters work for his immediate return to the United States.
“I am confident that the US government can find a way to allow Saad to come home,” said immigrant rights activist Ralph Isenberg, who has been in communication this week with Dallas officials of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Isenberg says immigration officials could evaluate Nabeel for a “humanitarian parole” that would allow the former Texas college student to return to the US for one year.
Humanitarian parole is a status usually granted for medical conditions. And Isenberg says there are good reasons to be concerned for Nabeel’s psychological health if he is not allowed to return to America.
Nabeel came to the US as a child, attending elementary school in California and high school in Texas. He graduated from Liberty High School of Frisco Texas in 2009 and enrolled with full scholarship as an engineering student at the University of Texas at Arlington.
During the first semester of his freshman year at college, Nabeel and his parents were detained by immigration officials. The family was deported to Bangladesh in early 2010.
Once in Bangladesh, Nabeel reconstructed his laptop computer and began a Facebook campaign for his return. “The Official Group: Bring Saad Nabeel Back Home to America” has grown to 5,600 members at Facebook. And his story has attracted attention and sympathy from major media around the world.
In November, Nabeel was struck with a cane by a policeman in Bangladesh after he protested the beatings of homeless children. One week after that incident, Nabeel was sent by his family to Malaysia where he was enrolled in college.
But Nabeel said in his letter of resignation from the college this week that he does not feel safe there. He objected to the strict religious requirements of the curriculum, claimed that his views of culture and politics alienated him from fellow students, and worried that his enrollment at the Islamic college might endanger his case for re-entry to the United States.
“The humanitarian reason for allowing Saad to return is clear and obvious,” says Isenberg. “There is no reason not to parole him into the US.”