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News :: Human Rights : International : Labor
Let Siham Biyah Come Home! No Deportations!
05 Feb 2018
On January 27, hundreds of defenders of immigrant rights from many leftist organizations, labor unions, churches and sanctuary networks rallied in Boston to protest the deportation of Siham Byah. A prominent Occupy Boston activist and single mother, Byah was grabbed by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) police last November 7, torn from her son, beaten in a local jail, driven to Virginia and then deported to Morocco. The Class Struggle Education League, based in Lowell, Mass. and New Hampshire participated in the protest, emphasizing the importance of mobilizing the power of workers action to stop the I.C.E. deportation machine. It also noted the parallel to the struggle against slave-catchers under the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, a battle which came to a head in Boston and set the stage for the U.S. Civil War. The CSEL is undertaking joint work with the Internationalist Group.
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On January 22, hundreds marched in Boston demanding justice for Siham Biyah, a single mother and prominent Occupy activist, defender of Palestinian rights and critic of the Moroccan monarchy. Last November she was torn from her son, beaten in jail and finally deported to Morocco. (Photo: Justice4Siham)
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Re: Let Siham Biyah Come Home! No Deportations!
26 May 2018
Modified: 06:02:47 AM
Unable to comply with the requirements for Residence in Morocco I am an American now an illegal immigrant in the very country Siham Biyah was deported to, from my home country.
I have lived in Morocco since 14 years and like Siham, I have a son here. But our situations are rather different. Although I've been notified at this stage I can be arrested and deported back to America any day now, I was given notice after nearly a year since my visa expired. No one snatched me, as it happened with her.
Instead? Rather than embarrassing me and making a public arrest, the Gendarme who is required by law to arrest me gave me two separate times to meet him at the police station. I explained my situation as best I could (as I've learned Arabic) and he's done all he could to give me more time to try to correct my visa while beginning the process to help me gain residence, the equivalent of an American green card.
I own a house in Morocco, as well. But if I am deported, I will not be able to return or see my son keep my home. But unlike Siham's situation in America there has been great compassion not only among neighbors but the local immigration people, too, are hoping I can at least raise enough money to pay for a fine.
What I've done instead? Seeing what my country, America has become - what I've always known as a nation populated and built by immigrants, a country I would not recognize anymore - is begin filing for political asylum here. I am hoping to gain political asylum from America. And I have of late written the king of Morocco. Here? No one beats an immigrant in the jail. Here? Unlike America which is becoming a police state, there are more democratic values in its Constitutional Monarchy than what our leaders in America have made of our democracy.
I am saddened by how Siham Biyah was treated upon her arrest - and deported without a chance to gain nationality in my country despite it being her home.