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Stony Brook student, mom face deportation

Nadia Habib, right, and her mother, Nazim Habib.

Nadia Habib, right, and her mother, Nazim Habib. Photo Credit: Handout

A Stony Brook University student and her mother are fighting an order that they report to immigration officials Thursday morning for deportation to their native Bangladesh after 17 years in this country.

Nadia Habib, 19, said she was 20 months old when she arrived here in 1993 with her mother, Nazmin Habib, 43, to join their father, Jawad, a Queens taxi driver.

She lives with her family in Woodside, attended the prestigious Bronx High School of Science, is now studying psychology and biology at Stony Brook, and hopes to become a pharmacist, she said. She has three younger siblings, born here in later years, who are citizens.

"Ms. Habib shares the same values and ideals as those fortunate enough to be born in this country," Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) said in a letter asking Immigration and Customs Enforcement to use its discretion and not deport the women.

"I respectfully request ICE follow its own guidelines and focus attention on people who are more of a threat to this country than Ms. Habib," Bishop, whose district includes Stony Brook, said in the letter to Christopher Shanahan, head of ICE's New York office.

Shanahan's office, asked for comment, released a statement that did not address the Habib case directly and defended the work of the agency.

Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley, whose district includes Woodside, said in a statement he and his staff are working with the family and officials "to ensure that Nadia and Nazmin are able to stay with their family here in the U.S."

Habib struggled to explain her situation. "My parents never really talked to me about it until recently," she said. "They didn't want me to worry about it." Her parents could not be reached for comment.

Her father has a green card and is here legally; but, she said, she and her mother have no documentation and are trying to reopen a 2000 appeal.

She said she was aware of her status, but not the immediacy of her problem until she got the deportation order Sept. 10.

The New York State Youth Leadership Council, an advocacy group for undocumented youths, supports the Habibs and plans a rally in Manhattan outside 26 Federal Plaza at 9 a.m. Thursday -- two hours before the Habibs are to report for deportation.

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