Sign the Petition: Please Support our Detained Student
A message from Angelina Godoy, Helen H. Jackson Chair in Human Rights and Director of the Center for Human Rights:
As you may know, a UW undergraduate is currently imprisoned in the immigration detention center in Tacoma; students in the Law School are representing him, fighting for his right to stay in this country to continue his studies and serve as a parent to his three-month-old daughter. Members of the broader UW community can help by signing and circulating this petition asking for his release while awaiting the government's final determination in his case.
Bangally Fatty is an International Studies major in the Jackson School, and was enrolled for fall quarter at the time of his detention in September. He first came to the U.S. from the Gambia to attend college in Florida 15 years ago, but when he ran into financial troubles he became the victim of a labor trafficking ring. He spent several years in difficult economic and personal circumstances, including short-term homelessness. During this period he had a number of legal problems as well. He eventually met his wife, Rebecca, a nurse at Harborview, and decided to turn his life around; he enrolled in community college, transferred to UW, and was an outstanding student in my 100-student human rights class in winter 2017. His daughter was born this summer.
UW Law students enrolled in the immigration law clinic have applied for a T visa (for victims of trafficking) on Bangally's behalf. They are filing requests this week for his release on bond, so that he can continue his studies and parenting while awaiting USCIS' decision on his T visa application.
Bangally's case is also important because of the message our reaction -- or lack thereof -- sends to other students. While it seems unlikely he's the first student in the entire university who has faced deportation, he is the first who has come to the attention of the institution; others may have simply disappeared from our classes without explanation. At a time when many of our students feel unsafe in light of current events, it is essential that we stand up as a community in support of our own members.
Bangally is a valued member of our community, has been an exceptionally conscientious student, and especially because he is the first of our students to be facing deportation, it is important that our community stand by him in asking for his release while his case is pending, so that he can continue his education and parenting responsibilities.
There will likely be other opportunities to support Bangally, for example by attending his hearing, but right now this is the most urgent. A strong response from our community may affect the outcome of the case, as we've seen in other instances across the country where communities rose up in defense of their members.
I hope UW can be such a community.
To sign the petition, please follow the link above, or click here.