A disabled former Washington National Guard soldier got to go home to Lacey after his immigration hearing ended Wednesday, but he still could be deported to his native Pakistan later this year.
Muhammad Zahid Chaudhry, 37, brought about 30 supporters from the Olympia area with him for his hearing before an immigration judge on charges that he lied on visa documents. He sat in his wheelchair, wore his National Guard dress uniform and appealed to stay in the U.S. based on his service in the military.
“I have served with honor and dignity,” Chaudhry, who was discharged a year ago for medical reasons, said before his hearing began.
Ann Chaudhry joined her husband in court Wednesday and insisted she’d accompany him to Pakistan if he’s ordered to leave the country.
“I didn’t get married to live apart,” she said. “We’re in danger because there are people (in Pakistan) who are upset with the American military.”
His friends from the South Sound echoed his wife’s fears about Pakistan while carrying signs outside an immigration building in downtown Seattle.
“If he was good enough to serve, why isn’t he good enough to stay?” asked supporter Tera Lamb of Olympia.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement wants Chaudhry removed from the country because of two incidents he allegedly misrepresented to government officials after he came to America in September 2000.
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