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Crowd marches downtown to support detained Lawrence scientist Syed Jamal

Naheen Jamal, 12-year-old daughter of Syed Jamal, center, is flanked by her friends Elizabeth Anderson, left, and Anna Anderson as they lead a Free Syed Jamal march on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 at Lawrence Creates. Jamal, a Bangladeshi-born Lawrence resident, research scientist and academic, was detained by ICE on Jan. 24. Jamal was issued a temporary stay of deportation on Wednesday.

Earnest chants filled Massachusetts Street on Thursday as dozens of people marched in support of Syed Ahmed Jamal, a Bangladeshi-born Lawrence scientist who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on a deportation order after 30 years of residency in the U.S.

Shouts of “Free Syed Jamal” and “Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here” rang out as marchers carried signs through downtown Lawrence to raise awareness for a local family that associate pastor Eleanor McCormick of Plymouth Congregational Church said has been “shaken to its core.”

“Have this affect how you walk and how you talk and how you vote”, McCormick said. “It is that important that immigrants in our land know us for our love, and not for our hate and not for fear.”

The march began several hours after Jamal was granted a temporary stay of removal. His case is now under review, and a final decision on whether he will be deported is expected within 10 days. Jamal is currently being held in El Paso, Texas.

Some signs at the march tied into the national political discourse surrounding immigration — “Make America Think Again” and “Love Trumps Hate” — while others focused more on Jamal himself. One such sign read: “Friend. Father. Volunteer. Scientist. Community Leader.” Others simply implored: “Bring Syed home.”

Ceri Goulter, an event organizer, said she got involved in advocating for Jamal almost immediately after he was detained in late January. She said she's glad to see the effort growing.

“I’m a Lawrence girl; I grew up here and I’ve always known that Lawrence was special,” she said. “But this has been an outpouring like I’ve never seen before. It’s been overwhelming to see everybody come together for a family they’ve never met.”

Before the march began, Jamal’s brother, Syed Hussein Jamal, spoke to attendees, saying he and his family were grateful for the community’s support.

“The heartfelt gratitude that we feel for your guys’ support is unbelievable — to see the outpouring of support that we’re seeing,” he said. “I want to thank every one of you … We still have some work to do, so please stay focused and help us out where you can.”

Mahboob Ahmed, an assistant director of the Islamic Center of Lawrence, concluded the march by joining McCormick in an interfaith prayer. He told the Journal-World that his kids go to school with Jamal’s, and he has tried to help with the case since the beginning.

“We need to keep working, and we need to not rest until we bring Syed Jamal back home,” he said. “This whole community shows what a wonderful place it is and what a wonderful people we are. Together we are strong, and together we can make it happen. Let’s keep doing it and join hands until we bring him back."

Nearly 60,000 people have signed a Change.org petition urging authorities to return Jamal to Kansas. Organizers of the march encouraged attendees to continue calling congressional representatives and the Department of Homeland Security and include Jamal’s case number — 0925209456.

A follow-up rally is scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Kansas City, Mo., according to the “Free Syed Ahmed Jamal” Facebook page.

Comments

Bob Smith

How very precious.

1 week, 5 days ago

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P Allen Macfarlane

snarky as usual.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Alex Landazuri

he is a professional troll. never adds anything useful to any conversation.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Jade Elliott

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1 week, 5 days ago

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Steve Johnson

A whole 24 people, wow! If Munchers raised the price of their donuts, you would have at least 36 people march and protest.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Scott Burkhart

"after 30 years of residency in the U.S.," in which he completely ignored immigration laws. His visa was a "non-immigrant" visa. He never applied for naturalization. He never tried to obtain citizenship. He just decided he would stay as long as he wanted, immigration laws be damned. It's a sad story but a good one that exemplifies how the left doesn't feel there should be any repercussions for their misdeeds and how the law should only apply as they see fit.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Steve King

Didn't your mothers tell you if you can't say something nice don't say anything. Why do you persist? Always so snarky. Sad.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Andrew Applegarth

Didn't your mother tell you if you can't say something nice don't say anything? Or are you just enjoying being a hypocrite? For the record my mother put more of an emphasis on the truth, but she wasn't a democrat...

1 week, 5 days ago

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Alex Landazuri

pretty sure the republican in the white house hasnt told the truth since he got elected. so please tell me why you think just democrats are liars?

1 week, 5 days ago

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Ron Ingram

Don't forget kris kobach and the traitor devin nunes.

1 week, 4 days ago

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Greg DiVilbiss

I wrote a letter to Representative Jenkins in support of Syed.

I would like to know the story of what the process is for staying in the United States once you graduate from college. I am also interested to know why he overstayed his visa. Have we as a society just looked the other way on visas? I mean I missed a court date once for a speeding ticket going 8 miles over the speed limit and they sent a sheriff to let me know about it.If there has been a tradition of looking the other way, has this caused people to not file the proper paperwork to stay?

1 week, 5 days ago

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Melinda Henderson

Here's a new Trump plan in the making for LEGAL immigrants with U.S. citizen children. I wasn't aware of the "public charge" label.

https://www.vox.com/2018/2/8/16993172...

1 week, 5 days ago

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Bob Summers

Scientist?

Seriously?

1 week, 5 days ago

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P Allen Macfarlane

I'm pretty sure you wouldn't recognize a scientist even if it was Einstein bumping into you on the street.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Andrew Applegarth

snarky as usual.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Rick Masters

*spits water out from laughing at this one*

1 week, 5 days ago

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William D'Armond

If this was a drug dealer who "Failed to Appear" at a court date scheduled by the judge, how would these people react. This man, and supposing he is a scientist, is smart enough to know what he needed to do to stay in the US. Regardless, he deported once, spent 3 months away from his family while he reapplied. He obviously did not like the way the process, so when the judge told him to deport willingly and do things the proper way, he stayed, skirted the law, and now that he has been caught it is a big "to-do". I fill sorry for his kids, his wife knew what they were doing and what the potential repercussions would be. Shame on them. All of his siblings have become citizens, why not him before now. Find something real to protest, he is not here legally.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Geoff Ermlap

Haters out in full force

1 week, 5 days ago

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Greg Cooper

OK, let's get to the bottom line. This man came here with a set of skills that benefit the country, made a life for himself and his family. Now, what the hell do you guys who are protesting his continued presence in the united States complaining about? That he overstayed his visa. Not a word of congratulations that we snared a productive citizen, as our immigration wishes are. Do you not keep saying we only want productive people coming here? For not recognizing his accomplishments and focusing on your racially-motivated hatred of anyone not like you, you want to overlook exactly the things you say the nation needs. Good grief.

How about an immigration policy based on looking at good things rather that catching someone violating a technicality? Can we address people like this professor? Isn't there a way to make immigration positive rather than divisive? Come on, people, we're better than this. Let's do it.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

Many conservatives want to end immigration all together, legal or not. Well, maybe if they come from the white part of Norway. They think that immigrants take their jobs, even though many of the haters no nothing about science, and some are science deniers. You know - don't get vaccines, the planet is not warming, humans don't pollute, and we never landed on the moon.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Marc Wilborn

So,Greg, I assume that based on your comments that you would be in favor of deporting any of the illegal immigrants who are not productive regardless of their family plight? The reason we do not have a reasonable immigration policy is because someone keeps moving the goal posts, so to speak. You can't have it both ways unless you are in favor of an open border policy.

My solution is more of a carrot and stick approach. Let everyone stay and get a path to citizenship but nobody votes until they are a citizen. Strictly enforce border law and create some form of border security where there is no more catch and release. Maybe this includes some form of barrier in parts of the border, maybe not. The important point is the law is objective and not open to further discussion based personal circumstance. You get in legal or you're out.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Greg Cooper

OK, that's a start, Marc. That's better than we've gotten from our national government. And, yes, I agree, border security needs to be addressed. So, let's start with your approach, and go on to better things than we have. The nation can only profit from a system that keeps people like this here. Thanks for the reasoned approach. Neither of us wants the country divided over what should be an enriching program for the whole country. Now, if only the conversation can expand...

1 week, 5 days ago

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Ron Ingram

Great, original idea: "nobody votes until they are a citizen" You may not be aware, but that's law everywhere in the country except a couple of dumb towns let just about everybody vote for city council. Sorry to tell you, "nobody votes until they are a citizen" has been done for YEARS.

1 week, 4 days ago

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Charles L. Bloss, Jr.

Everyone should follow the law, this guy did not. Surely he can count and know that he over stayed his visa. I am not against he and his family staying here, but they should do it lawfully.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Greg Cooper

Exactly so. But, in my opinion, this guy is not who the law foresaw as a drag on the country. What I want to see is a set of immigration laws that address that issue. And, yes, those who break the law should face punishment of some sort or another. So, let's get together as a country, throw out prejudice and fear and hatred, and make something happen that is positive and useful. That's what we are about as a nation, in my opinion.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Brock Masters

His siblings followed the law and are citizens but he chose not to follow the law and become a citizen and he chose not to follow court orders. He had ample warnings and opportunities to void this situation but he chose not to afford himself of them.

This situation is of his own making and my opinion that the lawful order for deportation be carried out is not rooted in prejudice, fear or hate, but a belief that no one is above the law.

Any person who chooses not to follow the law, knowing the consequences and were ble to follow is not deserving of sympathy or special consideration in my opinion.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Josh Berg

The law does not care what kind of guy he was Greg. There is a law and he broke it. There is no room for interpretation of who gets to follow the law and who does not.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Greg Cooper

Brock and Josh, I agree with your wanting to uphold the law. I agree that everyone should uphold the law. That being said, my point was that, as long as we're having the immigrant conversation if Congress, let's talk about how to bring these folks here. Tighten up whatever law enforcement we have and go from there, but get the "good ones" before Pakistan, North Korea, or even our allies do.

Brock, I still believe that the feds had plenty of time to address this man's situation, and did not, for whatever reason. There is a statute of limitations on nearly every crime, so why not this? I don't want every jack leg from everywhere just squatting on our shores, but, for heaven's sake, at what point do we admit we've been part of the problem?

Josh, there is plenty or room for interpretation of nearly every law we have. Diversion agreements come to mind: go and sin no more and we'll forget this ever happened happens regularly. Plea bargaining a sex crime down to disturbing the peace. Lots of room for interpretation. I'm not in favor of totally ignoring the law, but of interpreting each individual's situation and intent in order to mete out "justice". Hope that explains my thoughts.

1 week, 4 days ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

And look at that. No obscenities, no threats or insults thrown. These are the kind of marches that we want.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Josh Berg

Pretty sure there were obscenities flying at the march you attended to protest the Douglas County GOP meeting last year.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Ron Ingram

GOPers NEED to hear that citizens are disgusted with them. Too many of them don't do town halls and don't read their mail.

1 week, 4 days ago

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Jake Davis

Yes, unlike the many protests you have supported in the past....HYPOCRITE!!

1 week, 5 days ago

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Marc Wilborn

Actually, what should be happening is that the community should be supporting the unheralded efforts of those individuals in the community who give their time freely through Legal Aid, etc. to assist these individuals comply with our laws so that this doesn't happen. Why not a march for more Legal Aid contributions from the community versus some people marching against an individual example where he most likely did not comply with the law. Less stompy feet, more real help.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Web Kay

i'm sure a legal citizen would have liked to have had his job in 2008 during the recession.

1 week, 5 days ago

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David Holroyd

Where and when is the march from the historians of Lawrence and those dedicated to the history and preservation of the past? MAUSOLEUM march....the commissioners can't get the job done.

March for the dead who helped make the early years of Lawrence prosperous. Which it certainly is not now. Just a bunch of giveaways by the commission and county government.

Why aren't they marching for the smoke shop guy?

1 week, 5 days ago

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Rick Masters

Probably because he's a convicted sex offender. That's a tough sell.

1 week, 4 days ago

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Steve Johnson

Is that factual? If so, pretty easy decision

1 week, 4 days ago

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Web Kay

remember when people used to keep their private issues private? Everybody is protesting everything and anything in the 21st century. Its just stupid now. There is a protest everyday. The protesters have totally ruined protesting. I protest that we protest the protesters for over -protesting.

1 week, 4 days ago

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Justin Hoffman

The protests are simply a last ditch effort for liberals trying to stay relevant.

1 week, 4 days ago

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Greg Cooper

Oh, liberals like the white supremacists in Charlotte? That kind of liberal? And you really believe, Justin, that only liberals protest? Really? Dork.

1 week, 3 days ago

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David Holroyd

Well the MAUSOLEUM deserves a march.. but the the remaining occupants cant vote or pay taxes to support the follies of the city commission.

A little over 3 months till Memorial Day and the commission can't get anything done at the Mausoleum. What a disgrace. But yet they have money for studies and a "multidisciplinary staff" in Dr Mcculloughs office.

What is a 'multidisciplinary staff"? Another fancy title to justify their jobs.

FAKE titles and FAKE jobs.

1 week, 3 days ago

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