Deportation of Iranian Brothers Halted
- ADC Helps Stop Deportation of Iranian Brothers
Two Iranian brothers contacted the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination
Committee (ADC) on June 16. Upon learning and examining the details
of their case, ADC intervened and successfully halted deportation
proceedings against the brothers who had come to the US in 1993 to
seek medical treatment for the younger brother. ADC would like to
express its gratitude to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) which, on July 1, issued administrative stays of removal for
the brothers. This "administrative stay" enables the pair to remain
in the US for another year while they pursue other legal and medical
The younger brother is a 21-year-old Iranian citizen who was granted
permission by the Iranian government to travel to the US for
diagnosis and treatment of deteriorating bone and eye conditions. The
brothers were accompanied from Iran with their mother and father.
The brothers and their mother have applied for permanent residency
through the Life Act (a family reunification program), however due to
a backlog in the system, their application is still pending.
The brothers went to the Immigration office in Maryland in order to
voluntarily comply with the now suspended "special call-in
registration" program. Consequently, they were put in deportation
proceedings. They also applied for a differed action. However, they
did not receive any information regarding their status on the
differed action application. Since the older brother is responsible
for the younger brother, the immigration court allowed their cases
to be tied together during the court hearings. The brothers were
ordered to leave the country by July 10, 2004.
On June 17, 2004, ADC raised a humanitarian appeal to ICE
headquarters in Washington, DC. ICE contacted ADC on June 21, 2004
stating that ADC's request was sent for review to the ICE Field
Operations Center in Maryland. On July 1, 2004, ICE informed ADC it
issued administrative stays of removal for both of the brothers.
The younger brother suffers from two severe bone and eye conditions.
He is currently being treated by a team of experts at the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) who hope to improve his condition and
reduce his constant pain. According to a letter from NIH
doctors "there is no chance that he will be able to receive the
quality of care that he needs for his eye in Iran." Two doctors
from the Department of Health and Human Services have also written
that "[t]here is no treatment for this condition in Iran; proper
diagnosis was only possible in this country [d]epriving [him] of the
medical treatment and care that he is receiving now will only be
fatal [I]t is imperative that he remains here in the United States
where he can receive the only treatment for his condition."
His bones break with the slightest activity because he suffers from a
severe form of a collagen disorder. His condition is similar to
osteognesis imperfecta, however, it is more severe and presents
additional complications. Not only are his bone fractures extremely
painful, he has had spontaneous fractures from merely coughing or
sneezing. He has been treated more than 30 times for fractures in
his legs, ribs, back and hands.
He also suffers from a very rare and complex eye disease. His left
eye is currently blind due to severe scarring of the cornea following
a corneal rupture, and also optic nerve damage due to acute glaucoma
in the past. The right eye has also suffered visual loss due to
significant thinning of the cornea and irregular astigmatism, which
is uncorrectable with glasses. Due to this thinning in his right
eye, the NIH has decided to perform a cornea transplant in that eye
on an urgent basis particularly before the thinning progresses to the
point of rupture similar to what happened to the left eye. His
surgery is scheduled to take place in two stages, the first in July
and the second in early September.
Following the transplant, he will require 1-2 hospital visits per
week for the first few weeks then every 1-2 weeks for the next 3
months then monthly thereafter. He will also be on extra medications
to suppress his immune system and therefore will require close
monitoring of his medical status.
A doctor from NIH mentioned in an earlier letter "that most
physicians who are experienced in the management of patients with
osteogenesis imperfecta will agree that if a patient like [him] loses
his vision in his only good eye, it will be equivalent to a death
sentence. This is because his risk of fractures will be infinitely
higher if he can no longer depend on his vision to navigate and avoid
running into objects. He will undoubtedly experience recurrent
fractures and ultimately succumb to one of them."
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
4201 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20008
tel: (202) 244-2990, fax: (202) 244-3196
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