HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Over a dozen people gathered Wednesday in front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Hartford to protest the nearly 2-year-long detention of a Connecticut immigrant marked for deportation.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin joined the wife of Bakhodir Madjitov and others to support Bakhodir Madjitov, an Uzbek immigrant and father of three children, all of whom are U.S. citizens.
“I'm living in pain with broke bones since my third child was born; I can neither work nor live peacefully,” his wife, Madina Madjitov, said at the rally. “I don't think I can provide normal life without my husband for my children.”
Diana Blank, one of the man's lawyers, said he was granted in November two temporary emergency stays of removal by federal courts. He originally had a final order of removal of no later than Dec. 2. It's unclear now how soon he could be deported.
“He has no criminal history, there is no allegation of any wrongdoing or any criminal history, they simply claim he's removable because he has an order of removal and he overstayed his visa," she said.
Bakhodir came to the United States in 2006, Blank said, and married his wife around 2010, who is now a U.S. citizen. He also applied for asylum after his visa expired but was denied, as was his appeal.
Bakhodir has been moved around the country to facilities in Massachusetts and an ICE processing center in Louisiana, Blank said. He is now in an ICE detention facility in Alabama.
ICE officials did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
At the rally, the Madjitovs' 7-year-old son Muhammad spoke, asking for ICE to release his father and saying his younger brother has not met him.
Immigration officials detained Bakhodir on Dec. 22, 2017, a week before his wife was due to give birth to their third child.
“The youngest has never met him; he poses no threat to anyone,” Bronin said. “This is madness, so we gather today to ask ICE to let Bakhodir come home to his family.
"The legal process will continue, ICE's authorities will remain in place, but let him go, let him go home to these beautiful kids, let this little boy hug his dad for the first time in his life.”