A Pakistani couple taking sanctuary in a church in Old Lyme have faith that they will not be deported.
Malik Naveed Bin Rehman and Zahida Altaf are undocumented immigrants facing deportation.
They’ve been living in New Britain for 18 years, and even own a business, the Pizza Corner Restaurant.
As they begin their fight to stay, they’ve taken up sanctuary inside the First Congregational Church in Old Lyme.
“We just move inside the church. We don’t go outside. That’s a free country but we are not in the situation right now we don’t feel like freedom,” Zahida Altaf said.
“I’m 18 years here. Never do anything wrong. I will always try to do best. Working hard,” said Malik Naveed Bin Rehman.
Here on nonimmigrant visas in 2000, Malik and Zahida say they were misled by their former immigration attorney.
On March 19, the couple was ordered by ICE to leave the country. Instead, they turned to the church for guidance and shelter.
Malik said he misses his 5-year-old U.S. born daughter, as well as his daily routines, making pizzas and greeting faithful customers.
So their self-imposed prison in a church will continue, until the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals sets them free, again.
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