Richland Immigrant Stuck in Immigration Limbo (Part II)

November 11, 2015 6:53 am
by David Jakeman

This story is part two of two about Iraqi immigrant’s journey to the United States. Richland immigrant Mushtaq Jihad and his family fled death threats in Iraq to settle in the Tri-Cities area. Jihad and his family have been through many ups and downs as they made their way to a new life in the United States.

Ups and Downs

Jihad and his family found the transition to the United States difficult but rewarding. His daughters initially found it challenging to be in the United States as they learned English, but they were able to eventually settle down and make things work. Unfortunately, Jihad received the diagnosis of leukemia, but appears to be battling forward.

Jihad was also able to obtain a prosthetic leg thanks to the generosity of those in the Tri-City community. His leg had been blown off in Iraq in a tragic attack that also left his infant son dead. It is always amazing to see the generosity and support and support found in the Tri-Cities area.

Immigration Troubles

But not everything has been going Jihad’s way. And in the crazy world of immigration proceedings, you never know what’s going to go wrong. For Jihad, it has meant two years in limbo. His Pasco immigration attorney is especially incensed, saying that the delay makes no sense. It’s been a two-year wait for something that should only take a few months.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services does not comment on specific citizenship cases, so media attempts to figure out the reason for Jihad’s delay would be fruitless. Given the way the TSA has been known to profile based on names or passport origin, one has to wonder if Jihad’s last name has raised flags. Whatever the case, one can only hope that his case goes through.

His Pasco immigration attorney has been hard at work trying to find out what has caused the delay. He’s contacted government officials, among them U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, but so far, nothing has come through. Jihad is also under pressure because he could lose his Supplemental Security Income benefits. That’s because he’s been in the United States for seven years but hasn’t yet become a citizen.

For Jihad, and everything he’s gone through, he remains surprisingly upbeat and resolute. So many people have reached out and helped his family. A life of challenges and sorrow has also had moments of sweetness and joy. Hopefully Jihad and his Pasco immigration lawyer will get some good news soon.1

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