Pakistani man dies awaiting deportation in NJ prison

From New York City’s Pakistan Post, Sept. 15. Translated from the Urdu by Mohammad Jehangir Khan for the International Press Association.

A Pakistani man died of heart attack on September 9 while waiting for his deportation in a New Jersey prison, sources said.

Shehzad Tanveer, 42, who came to the United States about 13 years ago, was believed to be worried about his financial predicament awaiting him in Gujranwala, Pakistan before his death.

During his stay in the United States, according to reports, Tanveer got married and had two children – a seven-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter – who are living with their mother in Pakistan.

On August 3, around 5:00 a.m., Shahbaz Muighal, a friend of Tanveer’s, told Pakistan Post, that the FBI and immigration officials came to Tanveer’s apartment on Ocean Avenue, in Brooklyn.

The immigration officials were searching for Adeel, a student who changed his university without notifying the immigration authorities, Muighal said, adding that Adeel’s former university alerted the immigration authorities after he changed his university.

Since all the other residents at the apartment were green card holders, Muighal said, the immigration officials took Adeel and Tanveer’s passports and ordered them to appear at the Federal Plaza Bldg. on August 11. But when they appeared before immigration officials, Adeel was released while Tanveer was incarcerated, Muighal added.

On August 15, Tanveer was brought to Manhattan. However, since he had already signed the documents for his voluntary deportation, he was moved to a detention center in Freehold, New Jersey, awaiting his deportation to Pakistan, Muighal said.


Muighal…also said that Tanveer’s daughter was born after he returned to the United States, therefore he had never seen her.

Tanveer married a Latina woman about six months ago and then applied for adjustment of his status, Muighal said. However, the immigration judge turned down his application by declaring that his was a fake marriage. Instead, the judge ordered Tanveer’s deportation on the spot, Muighal added.

Muighal also said that although Tanveer’s death was natural, his deportation proceedings put him under enormous stress and plunged him into a depression. He described Tanveer as a hard-working man who would drive a cab seven days a week to support his family in Pakistan.


Muighal said the Homeland Security Department had intially assured that it will bear the funeral expenses for Tanveer, but later flatly refused to honor its commitment… Tanveer’s remains were sent to Pakistan… Tanveer came to the United States in search of his dreams. However, he had never thought that he will not return back to his homeland alive.

See our last report on persecution of Muslim immigrants in the US, and official Islamophobia.