Thursday, February 15, 2018

Cleaver Capes Up For Replacement Negroes, But AWOL For Constituents...,

kansascity |  Crying out, “This is right! We are right!” U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver promised Sunday to seek special legislative relief for Lawrence chemist Syed Ahmed Jamal, while pledging to continue fighting for an immigration reform bill.

Jamal’s recent arrest by Immigration and Customs Enforcement sparked the “Free Syed” rally in Kansas City where Cleaver spoke. The event drew more than 100 people seeking aid for Jamal’s family and other families threatened by deportation. The story of Jamal’s arrest last month has drawn national attention in recent days.

“We are people of compassion,” Cleaver told the crowd at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church at 4501 Walnut St. “This is about human beings.”

Cleaver, a Kansas City Democrat, met with Jamal Saturday at the Texas detention center where he is being held. Cleaver carried with him a drawing of a dragon by Jamal’s 7-year-old son, Fareed, with the message, “I miss my dad.”

Jamal’s family joined the Sunday rally and Fareed brought the picture, telling The Star “I drew a dragon because I thought it would make my dad happy.”

And he was happy, Cleaver assured the child. “Some people, when they are happy, they cry,” Cleaver said, speaking of Jamal’s tears during their meeting in Texas. “He was happy.”

Cleaver announced he plans to advance special legislation early this week that would apply specifically to Jamal, seeking to release him from custody and secure his legal status. 

Immigration officials arrested Jamal, a 55-year-old chemistry instructor from Bangladesh, on Jan. 24 while he was taking his daughter to school. Jamal has lived in the U.S. for 30 years but his visa status has become invalid, according his family’s attorney.

Cleaver and others speaking at the rally pledged to work for legislative relief for thousands of families and individuals whose lives are in turmoil as they fear arrests and deportation because of their uncertain status under U.S. immigration laws.

The crowd heard a plea from a 32-year-old Kansas City woman named Yasmin whose husband —and the father of their four sons — has been taken into custody by ICE.

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