City Council Unanimously Opposes Deportation of New Britain Family

The City Council’s leader, Ald. Eva Magnuszewski (D-AL) has announced that the City Council has not only unanimously approved a resolution opposing the deportation of Malik Naveed bin Rehman and Zahida Altaf, but also sent a bipartisan letter to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in support of the New Britain family.

The letter was signed by all fifteen members of the City Council, Democrats and Republicans.

Malik Naveed bin Rehman and Zahida Altaf, with their daughter, Roniya.

Magnuszewski, the Council’s President Pro-Tempore, said, “People may ask why we did this,” as it is a federal issue. To that, she answered, “The question I always ask is, would I want someone to speak up for my family or friends if we were in this situation and the answer is a resounding yes.”

“This beautiful family lives in our city,” said Magnuszewski, “they have a business in our city; they have a beautiful little girl who was born here. They took the right steps to become citizens and they all deserve to stay in our country.”

A press release from the Council leader noted that deportation would force the New Britain couple, “to either leave their five year old, United States citizen daughter, Roniya Malik, behind or take her to a country where laws are especially unfavorable for English speaking, American females.”

The resolution approved by the City Council said that the family is, “being sentenced to deportation because, upon moving to the United States, their lawyer did not work to get them an extended visa and a path to citizenship, despite paying more than $6,500 to the lawyer.” The resolution added that, “the lawyer was sent to jail for fraud.”

The resolution says that the, “family pays taxes, have no criminal record, and own Pizza Corner on Broad Street in New Britain,” and, ” they have a five year old daughter who is a citizen of the United States of America, Roniya Malik,” yet, “they are scheduled for deportation on March 19, 2018.”

By a bipartisan, unanimous vote, to ringing applause, the Council approved the resolution, saying that the, “Common Council of the City of New Britain support Malik Naveed bin Rehman and Zahida Alta to stay because they are good-standing citizens of New Britain and help our City.”

Eva Magnuszewski. Frank Gerratana photo.

The press release said that the, “The Common Council, as a unified body, unwaveringly supported the stay for this family upon listening to the hardship that they have had to endure through this process and the overwhelming fear of having to leave a place they consider home,” adding that, “The Common Council encourages all residents to speak out in support of this family and all families that have been affected by similar situations. New Britain is a place where people come to live and work, not a place of fear. During these hard times we need to come together as a community, as neighbors, as human being and encourage the American Dream for all, with love.”