ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A father of four from Metro Detroit is facing possible deportation Monday after having lived in the United States for 18 years.
Yousef Ajin's supporters are growing louder after he was detained last month during a routine check-in with agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He was working toward gaining his citizenship. His wife and children are U.S. citizens. The family and their attorneys said they have no idea why he has been detained.
Ajin's loved ones and friends and local leaders are rallying around him in an effort to keep the family together.
A deportation hearing for Ajin is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building. The family hopes for a large crowd to come and show support for their father.
"It's sad that this could happen to a family that lived in America for so long," Betoul Ajin, Yousef Ajin's daughter, said in a short video that was made by local filmmaker Donald Harrison.
Betoul Ajin's high school paper in Ann Arbor documented her father's struggle to stay in the United States.
"At first, I was really nervous to start to tell people," Betoul Ajin said. "But then I was, like, 'You know, everybody's going to find out one way or another.'"
The video and article indicate her father was born in Kuwait and is a Jordanian immigrant. His family said Yousef Ajin has been in the country for 18 years and is working toward citizenship.
Yousef Ajin's wife and children are U.S. citizens. On Jan. 30, during a routine check-in with immigration officials in Detroit, he was detained.
"It sucks to see him work so hard, come here, and for him to have to lose it all and go over this new government that we have is something," Shadi Nabilsi, a family friend, said.
The story is gaining traction and support in Ann Arbor. The district superintendent tweeted her support for Yousef Ajin, and the mayor of Ann Arbor is hoping he can stay.
"We are a welcoming community, and I felt it was important for me to speak out," Mayor Christopher Taylor said.
The children have only seen their father once since he was detained, and they're worried they'll never see him again.
"I don't think anyone should feel scared to be in a country like America," Betoul Ajin said. "It's supposed to be a country that was built on great things."
Yousef Ajin was the breadwinner for his family, but since he was detained, his wife has been working 12-hour days to support the family.
Yousef Ajin has three daughters and a son, who has severe disabilities. The girls said they're working to care for their brother while their mother works to support them.
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