Dearborn Heights Family Pleads For Help After Father Detained By ICE

The Lebanon native's health is deteriorating.

WWJ News
December 02, 2019 - 8:12 pm
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib

Photo: Ron Dewey / WWJ


DEARBORN HEIGHTS (WWJ) -- A Dearborn Heights family is pleading for help as their father, in need of medical treatment, is nearing deportation. 

The family of Median el-Moustrah says he was detained last month and could be deported back to Lebanon. But with his health deteriorating, the family is fighting that outcome, as they say he would not receive proper medical care in that country. 

el-Moustra has lived in the area for around 30 years, with a wife and three children. His green card was revoked last month, a temporary stay was put in place and he remains in custody at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center. The family attorney’s most recent request for a stay of deportation on humanitarian grounds was rejected and a judge gave the federal government a week to respond, according to a report from WXYZ in Detroit.

His daughter, Mariam Charara, says her father had been fully cooperative with ICE, but his green card was revoked because he could not remember his wedding anniversary from more than a decade ago. He has since divorced and remarried.

The family gathered outside their home in Dearborn Heights Monday afternoon in a public plea to grant el-Moustra medical deferment.

"I’m pleading with ICE to use your discretion based on humanity, for humanitarian reasons, for his family, for his sake, that my father not be another case where his body is sent back from his country in a body bag," Charara said.

"The medical records, the medical documentations, the specialists that have advised against this travel. If he gets traveled out of this (country), you are killing a man and that’s on your hands," she said.

U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib spoke in front of the home, saying she hasn't been able to get cooperation from ICE in el-Moustrah's case.

"What's so distressing is the fact that the Trump administration currently does not comply with the current law. That this family could lose a life, lose their father if he’s sent to Lebanon. The fact of the matter is, he is doing everything he was supposed to do," Tlaib said.

ICE issued the following statement regarding el-Moustrah, according to WXYZ:

"In January 2011, an immigration judge ordered Mr. Median El Moustrah removed from the U.S. In December 2012, the Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed the decision of the immigration judge and dismissed Mr. El Moustrah’s appeal. Multiple subsequent appeals and motions to both the Board of Immigration Appeals and U.S. Circuit Court continued to affirm the immigration court’s original removal order, most recently in 2014, when the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Mr. El Moustrah’s petition for review.

Since 2014, ICE has exercised prosecutorial discretion multiple times over the last five years to allow Mr. El Moustrah additional time to coordinate his return to Lebanon. Prior to his Nov. 12 arrest, Mr. El Moustrah had been previously allowed to remain free from custody while he made those arrangements. He will now remain in ICE custody pending his removal."