Rally held for New Britain pizza owners facing deportation Friday

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NEW BRITAIN - A married couple in New Britain is next in line to be deported back to their home country in Pakistan.

They have been in the United States for close to 20 years and have even made a name for themselves in the community as business owners.

Their pizza shop called Pizza Corner is located on busy Broad Street.

Malik Rehman, 50, of New Britain is the owner and his love for pizza is indescribable. He has worked for businesses in the past like Papa John's and Papa Gino's and his dream came true when he was able to open a pizza shop of his own.

His wife, Zahida Altaf, 42, of New Britain has spent just as much time at the pizza shop as her husband. Together, they have a daughter, Roniya Malik who is only five-years old.

The couple came to the United States in 2000 on a Visa. It was not until this past January when they were asked to check in with immigration and that is when they were told the shocking news they would have to leave the country.

"She’s 42, I’m 50, you know? How long can we live for? Maybe 15, 10 years more? Everything is for this girl," said Rehman.

Rehman showed FOX61 his ankle bracelet and said he is embarrassed to wear it because it beeps whenever he is out of his boundaries.

His wife said their daughter has been wondering why her parents have been crying so much lately.

"She was shocked and after one or two days, she asked me and hugged me and asked ‘mom, do you love me?’ I said 'of course, why not? Why are you asking me that?' She said 'because that officer told you to leave me here'." said Altaf.

Both Rehman and Altaf have a desperate plea for ICE and said they are not criminals and have done nothing but made a successful life for themselves.

"Just stop deporting people if they don’t do anything wrong. If overstaying means they have kids here, they have a better future here, so they have to support people," added Altaf.

A rally will be held at 7:30 a.m. Thursday outside of the Federal Immigration Building in Hartford. FOX61 did also reach out to ICE about the family's case but is still awaiting a reply.

The family is set to deport themselves from the JFK airport Friday at 8 p.m.

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