An undocumented Palestinian man was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Raleigh, North Carolina and now his friends and the local medical community are protesting against his possible deportation.
Mosa Hamadeesa, an auto mechanic by profession, has a daughter who suffers from a rare cancer. He came with his wife to the United States from Palestine 10 years ago, on a tourist visa, seeking asylum.
According to Sherihan, Hamadeesa’s wife, her husband requested to live in the country under political asylum, but federal authorities rejected his application. Throughout his stay, he paid all his taxes, obtained a driver’s license and followed up with all the immigration issues relating to his political asylum application.
The couple has four minor children, three of whom are U.S. citizens. Sherihan gave birth to Nadine, who suffers from a malignant tumor, known as eosinophilic granuloma, in her femur. She is 9 years old now.
Hamadeesa was sent to an ICE detention facility in Georgia after immigration officials arrested him this week, despite his daughter’s deteriorating medical condition.
"It was extremely cruel because they captured him right before his children," said Mohamed Alminifi, a family friend. "They were crying."
"What he told me was that when he came to this country, he came because he was about to get killed," Alminifi sadded
"My daughter has rare cancer and she needs check-ups, follow-ups," Sherihan said of her daughter Nadine.
Administratos at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem recently informed the family, via a letter, that if Nadine is to go to Palestine, it would add more to her suffering, as the hospitals over there do not have "the adequate resources" to treat the cancer.
People connected with the family are coming out to support them in such a trying situation.
William Edward, the orthopedic oncologist who operated on Nadine, also sent a letter to immigration officials, explaining the intensity of the rare cancer, and requesting officials to let her primary caregiver, her father, to stay together in the U.S. The oncologist also vouched for the family personally. "On a personal note," Edward wrote, "I would mention that the Hamadeesa family are exactly the kind of people that we would want to immigrate to our country."
"Mosa is the type of person that the American public needs to support, he is the reason why our country is great. We are a country of immigrants that values diversity and productive members of society. Mosa has no criminal record; he pays taxes to the government each year... Mosa is a loving father and husband, a person with a strong work ethic. Removal at this time does not seem to be imminent, yet they continue to detain him during the pendency of his Motion to Reopen and Motion to Stay removal before the Board of Immigration Appeals," read a statement by Hamdeesa’s attorney, Allison Chan.
But ICE spokesman Bryan Cox said that immigration officers "took illegally present Israeli Palestinian national Mosa Hamadeesa into custody... in accordance with a final order of removal issued by a federal immigration judge in August 2013."
“His appeals were rejected by the court,” he added.
The Hamadeesa family’s ordeal is just one of the many cases that show how President Donald Trump’s stringent approach toward immigrants is targeting innocent people who are already dealing with intense hardships and potential death if they're deported.