Adnan Asif Parveen, a Muslim detainee at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Port Isabel, Texas, was recently held in custody despite having a permit allowing him to work in the United States. As HuffPost detailed in an article published on February 27, despite Parveen’s religious dietary restrictions, the young man claims that he was only served pork sandwiches.
Parveen was detained in January, and says that he was forced to remain in a cramped room with nearly three dozen migrants who had been arrested at the border. Along with being served food that he was unable to eat, he was also given an aluminum sheet to use as a blanket, his only choice for a bed being the cold floor of the room he was detained in.
Asif’s life in America began when he was visiting family in New York, back in 2014. By chance, he began communicating with a woman named Jennifer — who lived a few states away — in Columbus, Ohio. By chance, Asif’s uncle owned businesses out there, so both Asif and Jennifer decided to meet up. Despite their initial language barrier — Asif was starting to learn English, and Jennifer didn’t speak any of the foreign languages he was familiar with — the two struck up a relationship. As a result, Asif never returned to New York, let alone Spain, where he is originally from.
Despite holding a permit entitling him to work in the United States, Adnan Asif Parveen found himself lying on the cold floor of a Border Patrol detention facility and only given a pork sandwich to eat. https://t.co/t6CpdS5mZ8 pic.twitter.com/NZ48p31wXw— Pillars Fund (@pillars_fund) February 28, 2019
The two married in September of 2016. Jennifer, who is an American citizen, sponsored Asif for a green card. Since he came into the country legally, he was allowed to remain in the United States. He received a work permit and an interview date –the last step in the green card application process.
However, for unknown reasons, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) canceled the interview, citing the need to conduct a more extensive background check. Despite the couple calling regularly for updates, the background check — and interview — have yet to take place, over a year later.
Over time, Asif began working as a semi-truck driver for his cousin, and one recent job assignment took him all the way to south Texas. In January of this year, Asif found himself stopped at a border patrol inspection station near Falfurrias, Texas. There, he was asked if he was a citizen. After explaining that he wasn’t, he offered his work permit to the station’s staff. Although the work permit had expired in August of 2018, Asif was still waiting on the permit to be renewed — as HuffPost notes, USCIS automatically extends work permits for six months to avoid any issues with processing delays. Despite this six month window, Asif was pulled aside. His electronic proof of the automatic extension was not accepted, and he was taken into custody.
At the time of writing, Asif Parveen is still in custody.