ADC Helps Stop Deportation of Iranian Brothers
ADC received the following note (and a beautiful bouquet of flowers) from the Iranian family it recently helped.
A kinder group of people would be very hard to find. Your kindness touched my life and our family in more ways than one could imagine. Thank you for helping us.
Two Iranian brothers contacted the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) on June 16. Upon learning and examining the details of their case, ADC intervened and successfully halted deportation proceedings against the brothers who had come to the US in 1993 to seek medical treatment for the younger brother. ADC would like to express its gratitude to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which, on July 1, issued administrative stays of removal for the brothers. This “administrative stay” enables the pair to remain in the US for another year while they pursue other legal and medical avenues.
The younger brother is a 21-year-old Iranian citizen who was granted permission by the Iranian government to travel to the US for diagnosis and treatment of deteriorating bone and eye conditions. The brothers were accompanied from Iran with their mother and father. The brothers and their mother have applied for permanent residency through the Life Act (a family reunification program), however due to a backlog in the system, their application is still pending.
The brothers went to the Immigration office in Maryland in order to voluntarily comply with the now suspended “special call-in registration” program. Consequently, they were put in deportation proceedings. They also applied for a differed action. However, they did not receive any information regarding their status on the differed action application. Since the older brother is responsible for the younger brother, the immigration court allowed their cases to be tied together during the court hearings. The brothers were ordered to leave the country by July 10, 2004.
On June 17, 2004, ADC raised a humanitarian appeal to ICE headquarters in Washington, DC. ICE contacted ADC on June 21, 2004 stating that ADC’s request was sent for review to the ICE Field Operations Center in Maryland. On July 1, 2004, ICE informed ADC it issued administrative stays of removal for both of the brothers.
The younger brother suffers from two severe bone and eye conditions. He is currently being treated by a team of experts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) who hope to improve his condition and reduce his constant pain. According to a letter from NIH doctors “there is no chance that he will be able to receive the quality of care that he needs for his eye in Iran.” Two doctors from the Department of Health and Human Services have also written that “here is no treatment for this condition in Iran; proper diagnosis was only possible in this country.epriving of the medical treatment and care that he is receiving now will only be fatal.t is imperative that he remains here in the United States where he can receive the only treatment for his condition.”
His bones break with the slightest activity because he suffers from a severe form of a collagen disorder. His condition is similar to osteognesis imperfecta, however, it is more severe and presents additional complications. Not only are his bone fractures extremely painful, he has had spontaneous fractures from merely coughing or sneezing. He has been treated more than 30 times for fractures in his legs, ribs, back and hands.
He also suffers from a very rare and complex eye disease. His left eye is currently blind due to severe scarring of the cornea following a corneal rupture, and also optic nerve damage due to acute glaucoma in the past. The right eye has also suffered visual loss due to significant thinning of the cornea and irregular astigmatism, which is uncorrectable with glasses. Due to this thinning in his right eye, the NIH has decided to perform a cornea transplant in that eye on an urgent basis particularly before the thinning progresses to the point of rupture similar to what happened to the left eye. His surgery is scheduled to take place in two stages, the first in July and the second in early September.
Following the transplant, he will require 1-2 hospital visits per week for the first few weeks then every 1-2 weeks for the next 3 months then monthly thereafter. He will also be on extra medications to suppress his immune system and therefore will require close monitoring of his medical status.
A doctor from NIH mentioned in an earlier letter “that most physicians who are experienced in the management of patients with osteogenesis imperfecta will agree that if a patient like loses his vision in his only good eye, it will be equivalent to a death sentence. This is because his risk of fractures will be infinitely higher if he can no longer depend on his vision to navigate and avoid running into objects. He will undoubtedly experience recurrent fractures and ultimately succumb to one of them.”