Today we’re going to talk about an Election Day story that has not yet been reported by any media outlet.
It’s a story about a pro-democracy activist and human rights attorney from Pakistan.
He was deported on Election Day.
He asked us to call him by the pseudonym “Alex”.
In Pakistan, Alex worked with pro-democracy activists. As an attorney, he represented minorities and oppressed groups. Around three years ago, Alex fled Pakistan after receiving an increasing number of threats. He entered Canada on a Canadian visa but was refused permanent immigration status.
He then crossed the border into the United States without the proper papers. He moved to Queens, New York, and took a job as a security guard.
Police officers raided Alex’s home a few months ago. They found a booklet on helicopters, and accused Alex of having a false ID and being a terrorist.
The charges were dropped, but Alex was then handed over to the INS.
He was imprisoned for two months. According to Alex, his lawyer told the judge he would accept voluntary deportation, without ever consulting Alex. A second lawyer told the judge Alex had no reason to fear goingback to Pakistan — again, without consulting Alex.
Alex was deported on Election Day.
Democracy Now! senior producer Kris Abrams spoke with Alex just a few minutes before he was deported. She asked him to tell us his story.
“Alex,” a Pakistani human rights attorney and pro-democracy activist, talks to Democracy Now! senior producer Kris Abrams minutes before he was deported.
Ahsanullah Khan, director and co-founder of the Coney Island Avenue Project.
Guest: Michael Ratner, executive director of Center for Constitutional Rights