Malik, Zahida and Roniya have been living in a church for over six months for sanctuary from deportation in Old Lyme, CT. They are home and business owners, and their daughter is an American citizen. However, they have put their lives on pause while being confined to The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme
Malik and Zahida immigrated from Pakistan to the U.S. legally in 2000 on non-immigrant visas, according to federal authorities, but stayed past their visas’ expiration dates March 19th. The couple tried for years to extend their visas and become U.S. citizens but were misled by immigration attorneys who were later jailed for swindling other clients.
During their 18 years in the United States, they bought a home and Malik worked his way up from pizza delivery driver to pizza business owner in the nearby town of New Britain, Connecticut. They never committed a crime or failed to pay taxes.
After 212 days ICE recently announced it is not opposing the couple’s stay request, which is currently pending at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals finally allowing the family to go back home for the first time in over six months.