Shahed Hossain was a Texan to the core. He spent most of his childhood and adolescence just outside of Fort Worth, dated a young women whose mother worked as an accountant for a military contractor, went fishing on the river with his best friend and held a weekend high school job scooping ice cream at a breakthrough near his family’s house. “Everything that I know and everything that I learned, I learned from Texas,” he says. “I love Texas.”
But Texas is far away now. Shahed now finds himself passing long days in his grandmother’s home in Bangledesh, a country he left when he was 10. The young man had a green card and was soon to be a citizen, but he was removed from his home over a trifle: He accidentally told a border guard he was a citizen rather than a permanent resident, thus triggering automatic deportation. In an investigative report for ColorLines.com, Brian Palmer and I dug into 25-year-old Hossain’s shocking story of deportation—a story that reveals just how indiscriminate the expanding deportation dragnet has become, and how badly immigration reform has unfolded in Washington.
Brian tracked Hossain down in Bangladesh to film his new, disoriented life. Watch the film above.
In the three years since Hossain was deported, over one million others have been removed from their homes as well. Unless President Obama uses his authority to stop mass deportations, the “comprehensive” reforms Democrats have vowed to rally around after the elections won’t work, even if passed.
—Seth Freed Wessler