An immigration judge is preventing the federal government from deporting a Kurdish chef who’s lived quietly in Michigan for more than a decade.
Harbert, Michigan resident Ibrahim Parlak has fought deportation since 2004, when immigration officials said he should be removed from the U-S because he lied about serving jail time in Turkey and was part of a group now identified as a terrorist organization.
Parlak countered that he was forced to join the group and thought he was required to note whether he served time in the U.S., not Turkey.
He also noted that, as a native Kurd, he would face torture or death if returned to Turkey.
Residents in Harbert started a legal defense fund for Parlak and some in Michigan’s congressional delegation passed temporary measures to keep him in the U.S.
Now an immigration judge has decided that Parlak should not be deported because the move would violate the United Nations Convention against Torture.
His case could be reopened, however, if conditions in Turkey change to the point where Parlak would likely not face torture if deported.