Nearly 443 people have raised US$21,265 on the crowdfunding website Go Fund Me to support Syed Ahmed Jamal's family with legal fees and other expenses after he was taken away by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, on Jan. 24.
Jamal, a chemistry professor, was getting ready to drop his daughter off at school when officers from ICE arrested him on his own front lawn in Lawrence, Kansas. The 55-year-old teacher, originally from Bangladesh first came to the United States in 1987 to study at the University of Kansas. Recently, he was teaching at Park University.
Marci Leuschen, a family friend who started the online fundraiser, wrote on the website, "Mr. Syed Ahmed Jamal, beloved Lawrence family man, scientist and community leader, has been detained by ICE agents and is being held in jail in Morgan County, Missouri awaiting deportation. Syed is a well-respected Molecular Biologist who has done significant research with the University of Kansas, Children’s Mercy, Rockhurst University, and other local entities."
"His wife and three children (9th grade, 7th grade, and 1st grade) are devastated and fearful. This family is in crisis and needs our support. Please donate towards legal costs while this family fights for a stay of removal," Leuschen added.
"He has lived in the United States for thirty years and has attained his undergraduate and graduate degrees here. Syed is a devoted supporter of his children’s schools, regularly volunteering in classrooms and on site councils. Syed is viewed as a leader within his faith community at the Lawrence Islamic Center as well."
Jamal's lawyer, Jeffrey Bennett, said he will be able to continue living in the country under supervision.
ICE officials said Jamal lost an appeal of a removal order four years ago, the New York Times reported.