The family of a Bangladeshi chemistry professor detained in Kansas are waiting to hear if he will be deported, following his arrest by ICE after being in the US for 30 years.
Syed Jamal was handcuffed and taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in his Lawrence, Kansas, front yard in front of his stunned children on January 24.
He is currently being held in Morgan County, Missouri, awaiting deportation, according to his attorney, Jeffrey Y. Bennett. He and his family await a decision on the recent stay of removal request sent to ICE on February 2, Bennett said.
"We were just about to drive off to school when an ICE officer came and tapped on the window... They said they were looking for Syed Jamal to arrest him," the professor's 12-year-old daughter Naheem Jamal told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on Thursday.
"I had heard that things like this were going around in America. But I didn't really think it would happen to us," she added.
The professor's 14-year-old son,Taseen Jamal, told CNN he spoke to his father on Wednesday.
"He was very uncertain of the future and he wanted to know what would become of us if he was sent. And he told us to stay strong no matter what happened and that in a way he would always be here."
Taseen Jamal said he wanted President Donald Trump to know that "he shouldn't be taking people who have done nothing wrong."
"No one really deserves to lose a family member like this, especially if it's wrongfully done. And it's going to be very bad if he's taken. And I don't know what my family and I are going to do."
Syed Ahmed Jamal, 55, first came to the United States from Bangladesh in 1987, according to his brother, Syed Hussain Jamal. ICE said Jamal entered the United States legally in July 1998 on a temporary nonimmigrant visa. During his time in the US, he worked in the chemistry department in several colleges and universities, including Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was an adjunct faculty member from August 2013 through December 2015 and where he also earned a bachelor's degree in 1997, according to the university.
In January, Jamal began teaching at Park University in Parkville, Missouri, as an adjunct instructor of chemistry, and taught the laboratory for advanced inorganic chemistry. He had been to the weekly class twice before his arrest.
At the time of his detainment, he had overstayed a voluntary departure notice, but had been granted permission to stay in the US under supervision.
Asked why ICE would target him now, his brother explained that "since 2017, the rules have changed a little bit."
"Nowadays what they are working with is the Kelly Memoranda. It does not distinguish between low priority, high priority, criminals or noncriminals, however you want to look at it. Anybody who has a deportation order they are rounding them up whether it's low priority or not... it's very sad."
Immigration judges are expected to rule on Jamal's case Friday.
Syed Ahmed Jamal has spent more than 30 years in the United States legally
A judge will rule on his case on Friday