This work of fiction covers the journey of Ahmad, a man fleeing Iraq during the rule of Saddam Hussein, to seek refuge in the United States. He is escaping because the Iraqi government has been torturing him for years thinking he is a CIA agent. Ironically, he faces an interesting ordeal in the... show more
This work of fiction covers the journey of Ahmad, a man fleeing Iraq during the rule of Saddam Hussein, to seek refuge in the United States. He is escaping because the Iraqi government has been torturing him for years thinking he is a CIA agent. Ironically, he faces an interesting ordeal in the hands of the United States Immigration. The US government, on the other hand, believes that he is a terrorist. While he is entering California on valid visitor B1/B2 visa, he is apprehended on immigration charges and placed in immigration custody. At this point, a new nightmare starts . The book is a very unique attempt to describe some of the important issues in immigration law including Asylum, marriage petitions, U Visas, a clear description of an immigration court case and other immigration issues. Written by Shah Peerally, an immigration lawyer , the book depicts the events inside the US Immigration court and the Department of Homeland Security. The book also echoes the sentiment of many immigrants who went through the difficult process. Moreover, the book brings to light the hate and discrimination of immigrants. Although a work of fiction, the book is a good guide on a number of immigration issues while depicting the triumph of the American justice system. PROLOGUE Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. —Thomas Jefferson In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, hundreds of individuals were arrested without being charged. While most of those arrested were never convicted of terrorism, their greatest vulnerability had been targeted—their status as immigrants, individuals with the vulnerable tag of being outsiders. The defunct Immigration and Naturalization Services were absorbed into one unit named the Department of Homeland Security. Under the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act, the immigrant community was forced to live in fear. Many were deported or disappeared. In this time of darkness, emerged a group of civil rights lawyers, guerrilla lawyers. These lawyers believed in the United States Constitution and were determined to fight for justice. Their faith and allegiance were often questioned, yet none of them gave up. Among this group was a less applauded group, which consisted of those faced with the actual challenge, the implementation of the immigration law and new challenges namely being considered guilty until proven innocent. These were the immigration lawyers. They fought for equal access to justice, which should never be decided by skin color, religion, or nationality. This is the story of some of those lawyers and their fight that helped others gain the courage to raise their voices against injustice.