News & Politics

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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