20,000 signatures reached
To: ICE Field Office Director, New Orleans Dianne Witte
Save Our Dad from COVID-19 in ICE Detention
Release our father from ICE custody.
Why is this important?
Our father, Dr. Sirous Asgari, is being unjustly detained by ICE in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and we need your help to free him so he can return to his life and job as a professor in Iran. Your signature today can help us deliver this message to ICE officials.
Our dad earned his PhD in Material Science and Engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia in 1997. He now teaches at Sharif University of Technology in Iran. He and our mother received tourist visas to visit us in 2017. But our father’s tourist visa was not properly stamped by U.S. customs, making him lose his status and becoming undocumented.
The minute my parents stepped off the plane, my father was arrested by the FBI on charges that were ultimately dismissed. After more than two years of legal battles, he was exonerated in federal court in Ohio on Nov 15th, 2019 but was immediately taken into custody by ICE.
Since then, our dad has been held at four different ICE facilities. In just the last month, in the midst of a global pandemic, he has been forced on nine different flights among numerous other detained people. Now we have learned he was exposed to someone who was very likely infected with COVID-19. Because of that, he was transferred to a different ICE facility in Louisiana.
He has been living in a room with between 29 and 44 detainees under horrible conditions. He sleeps on a rusted metal bed, in a humid room that makes the bed sheets constantly wet. They have only one shower and two toilets and no access to clean clothes. There is no sunlight or a view outside, and all the windows are covered. There are no ‘social distancing’ or sanitation measures to protect them from COVID-19.
In the middle of a pandemic, when officials are worried about prisons and detention facilities becoming petri dishes for COVID-19, my father is trapped in custody – when all he wants to do is return to Iran and join my family, so we can resume our lives.
We are worried that our father won’t survive this unjust detention because of his history of lung infection and pneumonia. So far, all requests by my father's attorney to release him have been rejected. Our father’s life is in danger. That’s why we are turning to the public. We need your help to get our voices heard by the officials at ICE.
Please sign our petition asking ICE to release our father Dr. Asgari – and our entire family – from this nightmare. Please help set him free.