The U.S. has tried to deport Kurdish chef Ibrahim Parlak from Michigan for over a decade, arguing he lied on a form and was once a member of a terrorist group fighting Turkey.
The group was identified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. long after Parlak moved to the Michigan resort town of Harbert.
Several members of Congress counter that Parlak has lived a peaceful and productive life in the state operating his own Kurdish-themed restaurant and deserves to stay in Michigan.
Many residents of Harbert have come to Parlak’s aid during his long battle to avoid deportation, which included temporarily being imprisoned. They started a legal defense fund for him and even sold “Free Ibrahim” shirts and coffee to raise money for attorneys.
A court eventually ruled Parlak could remain in Michigan because he faces torture or death if he’s deported to Turkey.
The federal government is appealing that decision.
But Parlak tells WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter his personal case pales in comparison to the warfare Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is now targeting at Kurds.