Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Kurdish cafe owner loses round to stay in US

Kurdish cafe owner loses round to stay in US

A Kurdish immigrant from Turkey who the U.S. government claims failed to disclose ties to a group labeled a terrorist organization lost another round Monday in his fight to remain in the United States.
In a split decision, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled to uphold the federal government's deportation effort against Ibrahim Parlak.
Parlak, 47, immigrated to the United States in 1991 after being convicted in Turkey nearly three years earlier on charges related to his support of the Kurdish separatist movement. He settled in Harbert, a quiet Lake Michigan resort town. There, he opened the Kurdish restaurant Cafe Gulistan in 1994.
His attorneys have argued that Parlak was tortured in a Turkish prison, where he was held for 17 months, and that is how officials obtained a confession regarding Parlak's presence at a fire fight in which two Turkish soldiers were killed.
A Kurdish rights group that Parlak supported in the 1980s _ PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party _ was designated a terrorist organization in 1999 by the United States. Parlak was detained by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in 2004 for alleged immigration fraud.
Prosecutors said Parlak failed to disclose his link to the group in his original application for political asylum in the U.S. and didn't mention the Turkish conviction when he applied for a U.S. residency green card in 1993 and to become a citizen in 1999.
But he also has attracted a number of supporters, including two Michigan congressmen who pushed bills to give him permanent U.S. residency. U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat, and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, a Republican, have backed Parlak, saying he is not a security risk and should be allowed to stay in the United States.
In December 2004, an immigration judge in Detroit ordered Parlak deported. Almost a year later, he lost an appeal of his deportation order with the U.S. Department of Justice's Board of Immigration Appeals.
His lawyers appealed that decision to 6th Circuit Judges Boyce Martin, Jeffrey Sutton and Julia Smith Gibbons in October 2007. The defense said the board erred when it determined that Parlak could be deported for lying on his applications, could not claim refugee status because he helped to persecute others and could not prove that he likely would be tortured if deported to Turkey.
Gibbons wrote in her decision, and Sutton concurred, that the BIA ruled correctly on those points.
In his dissenting opinion, Martin wrote, among other things, that "the immigration judge improperly relied on evidence likely induced through torture by Turkish Security Courts."
Martin also said the government was using its power "to railroad a man out of our country."
Telephone messages seeking comment were left at Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Detroit, the Chicago office of defense attorney David Foster and Parlak family spokesman Martin Dzuris.


Updated : 2021-08-01 19:44 GMT+08:00