TX: DETAINED PALESTINIAN MOTHER AND CHILDREN BEING RELEASED IN TEXAS
DALLAS A Palestinian woman and four of her children were released Saturday morning from the Texas immigration detention center where they've been held for three months.
Immigration officers arrested Salaheddin Ibrahim, his wife, Hanan, and four of their children in November at their Richardson home more than two years after their petition for asylum was denied.
Hanan Ibrahim, 34, who is five months pregnant, has been incarcerated since then at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor, near Austin. Four of her children, Hamzeh Ibrahim, 15; Rodaina, 14; Maryam, 8; and Faten, 5, also were detained at the same center.
Meanwhile, her husband, 37, was being held at the Rolling Plains Regional Jail in Haskell, near Abilene. Attorneys for the family expect him to be released soon also.
Escalating violence in their homeland swayed a federal immigration panel Friday to reconsider the family's asylum request, ifying the order for removal from the U.S.
"Clearly the public glare of how horrible it is for children being detained and the family being split up caused this," Theodore Cox, one of the family's attorney, said of the decision.
On Saturday, a black limo carried the Ibrahims' youngest child, 3-year-old Zahra, and her uncle, Ahmad Ibrahim, to pick up Hanan Ibrahim and the four children. Real estate developer Ralph Isenberg, who has become an advocate for the family, set up the limo trip.
"I can't imagine children in jail. Quite frankly, it's just not acceptable," said Isenberg, whose Chinese-born wife was held for a time at an immigration detention center. "What type of message do we send to the rest of the world community when we lock up kids and throw away the key?"