This fiction covers the journey of Ahmad, a man fleeing Iraq during the rule of Saddam Hussein, to seek refuge in the United States. He is escaping because the Iraqi government which has been torturing him for years believing he is a CIA agent. Ironically, he faces an interesting ordeal in the hands of the United States Immigration. The US government believing that he is a terrorist. While he coming on a valid visitor B1/B2 visa, he is apprehended on immigration charges and placed in custody. At this point, his nightmare starts again.
The book is a very unique attempt to describe some of the important issues in immigration law including Asylum, marriage petitions, U Visas and other immigration issues. Written by a immigration lawyer Shah Peerally, it depicts the events inside and outside the US Immigration court and the United States Citizenship and Immigration services (USCIS). The book echoes the sentiment of many immigrants who went through the process. It also covers the issues of hate and discrimination of immigrants especially of Muslims.
Although a work of fiction, the book is a good guide on a number of immigration issues while depicting the triumph of the American justice system.
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, hundreds of individuals were arrested without being charged. While most of those arrested were never convicted of terrorism, their greatest vulnerability had been targeted—their status as immigrants, individuals with the vulnerable tag of being outsiders. The defunct Immigration and Naturalization Services were absorbed into one unit named the Department of Homeland Security. Under the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act, the immigrant community was forced to live in fear. Many were deported or disappeared. In this time of darkness, emerged a group of civil rights lawyers, guerrilla lawyers. These lawyers believed in the United States Constitution and were determined to fight for justice. Their faith and allegiance were often questioned, yet none of them gave up. Among this group was a less applauded group, which consisted of those faced with the actual challenge, the implementation of the immigration law and new challenges namely being considered guilty until proven innocent. These were the immigration lawyers. They fought for equal access to justice, which should never be decided by skin color, religion, or nationality. This is the story of some of those lawyers and their fight that helped others gain the courage to raise their voices against injustice.