Habib came to the United States in 1999 fleeing Sierra Leone during the civil war that had erupted in his former country. Soon after arriving he filed for asylum in the United States and his case was under review all the way until 2011. In 2011, his asylum request was denied and he was told he would be under order of supervision in which he would have to check in regularly. In 2012 this process was stopped altogether and his checkins stopped.
In 2016, his wife, Maimouna who is a United States citizen, filed an I-130 form to petition for citizenship for her spouse Habib, with USCIS. This petition led to ICE restarting the order of supervision in December of 2017. Habib dutifully attended his regular checkins every 2 months. In July of 2018, ICE detained Habib at one of these checkups and threw him into prison to await deportation. Habib has never had a criminal record, always made his checkups, and his wife and children are all US citizens that applied legally for his citizenship; so their family was horrified when this happened.
Maimouna found this article where the ACLU was fighting ICE who was targeting married citizens seeking green cards for their spouses. She feels this type of entrapment is how Habib was thrown into prison.
Before all this happened, Habib worked a full time job doing night deliveries so that he could watch the kids during the day and make sure they got to and from school. Without him the family is lost. Maimouna, who works a full-time job for a major airline, was unable to continue her work and and exhausted her funds to fight this legal battle. She is currently staying home to take care of her family and do the tasks Habib handled daily. She hopes to be accepted for short-term disability through her work, so that she can continue to watch over her family, but her family needs any help they can get.
Below are some pictures of Habib and his family. They are a lot of fun, great neighbors, and a great family. They all love playing basketball in the neighborhood, swimming, and riding their bikes. Habib loves the Golden State Warriors and Abdoul loves Lebron James, so the NBA rivalry was always a fun one at their house until now. Abdoul is a sophomore in high school, Zeinab "Z" is in 8th grade, and Layla and Rahila are twins that are in 4th grade. They are all great students and very active in their schools. This has been very hard on all of them.
Currently Habib is still in prison and his family is fighting for him. Maimouna hired a lawyer to fight for them initially, but the legals fees are high. Habib's lawyer filed to stop the deportation and filed an application for a visa but this is all they can afford. Both of these cases are pending but the chances of success are very low.
Habib and Maimouna are frugal people that have worked hard for what they have. But they are currently in a very tough situation without an income, mounting expenses, and legal fees. They could use a helping hand.
Maimouna's last message that she wanted to share to us all was this......
"Why are they doing this to someone like Habib? He is a good person, he loves his family and he loves this country. This is not right and it is not fair."
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