Muslim group blocks green card quest: Houston sheikh must wear an ankle monitor, sues former backers

December 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

After an immigration ordeal that left him in a Houston detention center for five months, a local sheikh is now at odds with a Muslim society in his struggle to obtain a work permit and legal residency. Zoubir Bouchikhi, 40, an Algerian native, was released from immigration detention on $20,000 bail in May 2009 with a GPS ankle monitor. Now, he says, the Islamic Society of Greater Houston is refusing to sign a document he needs to get his green card. The sheikh has filed a lawsuit in state district court seeking to compel the society, Houston’s most prominent Muslim organization, to sponsor his residency. The society promised to help him get a green card when it employed and sponsored him in 2003, Bouchikhi said. “I am holding them directly responsible for all the hardship me, my wife and kids and the community went through,” Bouchikhi said. “My wife and I only have each other and the kids. My kids were like orphans while I was detained.” Aziz Siddiqi, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, confirmed that the society is refusing to sign the document Bouchikhi needs, known as an I-360 form. Siddiqi declined to explain why. “We’re not going to sign any papers for him,” Siddiqi said. (houston chronicle)

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