HARTFORD — A Connecticut family is once again, fighting to stay together.
They’re picking up their immigration fight where they left off almost exactly a year ago when they won a key victory.
One year ago, Salma Sikandar her husband Anwar Mahmud and their son Samir won a battle as Salma was granted a temporary stay of deportation.
FOX61 was the only station there as they got news from their attorney that she would be able to temporarily stay in the country.
“We stopped that with the help of the community,” said Samir.
Chants of “Keep Selma Home” echoes outside the Federal Courthouse in Hartford on Monday. Its the day Salma and Anwar went back in front of an immigration judge to plead their case for why they should be allowed to stay in America.
“You talked to my parents you wouldn’t even know that they are not citizens or green card holders. They’re just an average American family it’s just my mom doesn’t know how to speak English that well. But they deserve to get their green card today because they are radiating citizens,” said their son.
To mark the day, Samir Mahmud, a Quinnipiac University Sophomore, organized a rally outside the Federal Courthouse. A coalition of immigrant rights organizations were on hand. Moinul Chowdhury is the President of the Bangladeshi Association of Connecticut.
“They are set up here. They have stayed around 25 years, no crime no anything.”
Anwar came to the United States in 1993. Salma in 1999.
“He decided to flee Bangladesh for Political corruption. It wasn’t safe back then,” said Samir.
The family lives in New Haven.
“Together as a family they run a McDonalds in North Haven. They don’t own it but they run it and they work extraordinarily hard,” said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.
Customs enforcement says Salma overstayed her visa by more than 19 years. “Any risk of deportation happening is just very heartbreaking for me,” said their son.
Salma Sikandar has been fighting to stay in the United States since 2011, but her application keeps getting denied.
“I know it’s about them, but I think it’s really about their son and about the life that they’ve built in this country. Samir is at Quinnipiac. They are the best of who we are,” said Attorney General Tong.
News of nationwide ICE raids across at least 10 big cities sparked fear in the immigrant community, but those raids largely didn't materialize.
“It’s just a show. If you are actually going to do an ICE raid you are going to do it quietly,” said Samir Mahmud.
Still, advocates say they aren’t letting their guard down.