“Auntie Saheeda” free after three years

Saheeda Nadeem took sanctuary in a Kalamazoo church three years ago to avoid deportation.

Saheeda Nadeem will be able to leave a Kalamazoo church for the first time in three years after she was granted permission to stay in the U.S.

Nadeem first took refuge in Kalamazoo’s First Congregational Church in March 2018 as the administration of President Donald Trump aggressively sought to deport people living in the country illegally. A longstanding policy of Immigration and Customs Enforcement restricts them from raiding places of worship.

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Nadeem, known to many as “Auntie Saheeda,” fled Pakistan 40 years ago and moved to the U.S. seeking a better life for her two children 13 years ago.

Her visa expired, but she remained in the U.S. due to fears for her safety should she return to Pakistan.

“Today I have freedom,” she said in a video posted to Facebook by the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. “I want to express my thanks to President Mr. Joe Biden and his administration for the change they are bringing to immigration in the United States.”

You can read more on WOOD TV 8.

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