Date Saved: Pakistani Groom Out of Jail

On April 11, the Voice wrote about Tauqir Zafar Rizvi, a Pakistani man detained on immigration charges. While Rizvi sat in the Hudson Correctional Facility in Hudson, New York, plans for his May 6 wedding in Jackson Heights--to an American citizen--were put on hold.

On April 20, after 34 days in jail, Rizvi was released on "humanitarian parole" (an immigration status, not corrections- or prison-related) and granted a work permit, good for a year. There was no official explanation or apology. A spokesperson for New York's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office confirmed that Rizvi is out of jail on parole. He is not, however, out of the woods. "He is still in removal proceedings," the official said. "He is going before an administrative judge." The spokesperson wouldn't give a time frame or confirm whether Rizvi had gotten a work permit.

Mohammad Razvi, a community advocate and the director of the Council on Peoples Organization, credits the press exposure along with his own efforts for springing Rizvi; he says things have happened this way a few times before.

Two days before Rizvi got out, advocates and family members confronted representatives of the FBI and ICE over Rizvi's and similar cases in a public forum, the second of its kind. Razvi, who coordinated the forum, followed up with a private meeting over Rizvi's case with ICE and an attorney the next day. "I discussed it with them on Wednesday and Thursday he was out," he says.

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