WELCOME!

For the most recent news and updates, check under the CURRENT NEWS section on the right column of the page.

Below you will find details about our story. We are so grateful for your time and your support that helped make this miracle happen.

The Details

My husband, Nazry Mustakim, was unexpectedly taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on March 30, 2011. It was 7am and Naz was just getting up for work when he heard a loud knock on the door. There stood four fully armed federal agents, informing him that his green card was being suspended pending a future hearing and they were taking him into DHS custody. They were polite, due to Nazry being so compliant; but he was shocked. He asked if he could come to the bedroom and wake me up; he gave me the news and we were both terribly confused. My husband is a Legal Permanent Resident and always has been since moving to the States in 1992 with his family from his native Singapore. His documents were always kept current. We paid our taxes. He hasn’t hurt anyone. What could they want?

Background Info:

In late 2005, Naz realized he had a problem. What started out as recreational drinking and partying in his young adult life eventually grew into a severe and dangerous chemical dependency. In the midst of this chaos called addiction, he– like many of us — made some poor judgement calls. After being arrested for drug possession several times, Nazry recognized the severity of his addiction and voluntarily completed 6 months of rehabilitation in a faith-based treatment center. At the Manna House, he “got clean” from all mind-altering substances and began a relationship with Christ. (He celebrated 7 years of recovery last January!) He finally went to court for the 2005 arrests in March of 2007. Prior to his hearing, he was advised that his best option was to plead guilty to felony drug possession and accept the plea bargain of 10 years of probation. Unbeknownst to him, this plea not only deemed him a convicted felon, but violated the terms of his green card and put him under the Immigration umbrella of “Aggravated Felon.” Also unbeknownst to him is that this so-called aggravated felony made him immediately deportable. His new life here- the one of freedom from addiction, the pursuit of education, service to his community, and empowering the poor- was eventually going to be stripped away without warning. This deportation order was not presented to him until 5 years after his conviction, once Nazry had taken care of all unfinished business and was sharing his new life with his wife of 8 months.

Needless to say, this came as a shock to Naz and I; it has been years since his conviction, without any indication of revocation of his green card. He even applied for renewal of his green card AFTER his arrest, and it was granted. He never served prison time, and he felt so blessed by this. The judge truly had seen a change happening in him. Naz accepted the terms of his probation and gratefully went on with his life, completely turning it around. He felt humbled by the mercy and grace that had been shown to him by the US justice system. As the “Corrections” branch of government ought to do, it corrected his behavior and his life through rehabilitation and accountability. But evidently this grace was conditional. It would be taken away at any moment by the highest bidder.

A better picture of who Nazry is and why you should care:

Nazry has become more than simply a non-threat to society, but an ACTIVE contributor to it. From the beginning of his rehabilitation, he displayed a spirit of gratitude for his recovery and a commitment to “give back” the love he’d been shown. He worked his way up from program participant at the treatment center to house monitor, then eventually hired staff at the 54-bed homeless shelter run by the same organization. Naz was the night monitor at My Brother’s Keeper for nearly 3 years, working 6pm to 6am. But that wasn’t enough for Naz. He wanted to prove to those that believed in him that their faith in him was justified. He attended college at TSTC and graduated in 2009. Between work and class hours, Naz stopped in to volunteer at the Meyer Center for Urban Ministries, when most people would’ve elected to sleep! But Nazry had [and still has] a passion to serve and give back to the community that believed in him when he didn’t believe in himself. He is a committed member of a 12-step recovery program where he hold several service/chair positions and sponsors numerous other recovering addicts. He is making his community a safer place by helping these men stay clean/sober.
Prior to being detained, Naz was a team leader at a local tech support call center and his employer shared with me that, “He has incredible work ethic.” She also assured me that whenever Naz comes home, he’ll still have a job with S2G.

 

Naz & I at his TSTC graduation in December 2009

Naz & I at the Mission Waco Staff Retreat Aug. 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flash forward:

It is February 2012, and Naz is FREE (as of 8:30 pm on 2/7/12!) It has been 10 months since this battle began and we never gave up the fight for what is right. You can check out the most recent updates on the column to the right titled “Current News.”

Since this first began, we hired a defense attorney who specializes in immigration as well as criminal cases. Naz was not eligible for bond or bail (which we were misinformed about by ICE since the very beginning). Hiring an attorney was our first big move and most crucial one. We had no idea of what a long, painful, and expensive process was ahead of us.

 

Naz & I at our friends’ wedding shower

Naz’s Baptism at Camp Val Verde

Our “child,” Avery!

26 Responses to WELCOME!

  1. Joyce Crosby says:

    I am praying that Naz will be back home lto his wife and many good friends. God is our refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1

  2. "Aunt" Grace says:

    Dearest Hope, I was absolutely devastated at hearing this news . . . especially after having seen the beautiful photo album your beloved had so professionally prepared as a Christmas gift from both of you to your grandma.

    Taking into consideration heightened Homeland Security, is your husband’s name Muhamad Nazry, or Nazry Mustakim? If it is the former, I am hoping this bizarre turn of events is merely a possible, but understandable (out of a measure of precaution) over-reaction to a name, on the part of INS, and nothing more than that.

    May God, the Best Knower, continue blessing both of you.

    Love.

    • Hope Mustakim says:

      Hello Aunt Grace!
      Yes, his name is Muhammad Nazry Mustakim. Basically, them singling him out due to his name is just ignorant, and actually, discriminatory. I am not even a federal agent, but even I know that people who are involved in terrorism acts stay under the “radar” of the FBI and such, and don’t participate in any criminal acts that would bring attention to them. It’s very clear, by my husband’s prior conviction, that he was more concerned with the lifestyle he was living at the time (chasing the American dream, but slowly killing himself). Praise God, he was pulled from the miry clay. He is a terrific man- truly one in a million. I guess that’s why I miss him so painfully much!
      Love you lots and hope to run into you at Granny’s next time we’re in town. Keep us in prayer!!
      Hopie

  3. Joyce Crosby says:

    I am still praying for good results, and hope good news soon. Love you, Granma Joyce

  4. Warner Balfa says:

    Hope I am keeping you and Naz in my daily and nightly prayers. You have been through enough my baby to have to go through this. God knows your true potential my baby. Just remember he never gives you more than you can handle. Love you Hopie

  5. Joyce Crosby says:

    Keep the faith Hope, . Love you and Naz both,

  6. George says:

    I hope everything works out. Best

    • George says:

      your pics say it all. u guys make a great family. He should be allowed to stay.

      • Hope Mustakim says:

        Thank you so much. We have big dreams for Waco and how we can be of service to the community. We pray that we are allowed to stay! Naz sincerely deserves a second chance. I’d take his place if I could, but that wouldn’t make any sense, now would it? lol. He’s the most kind and giving person I’ve ever known (which is why I married him!) :)

  7. Pingback: Two NH Activists Arrested in Southern US | FreeConcord.org

  8. Cousin Donna says:

    I guess you need a good lawyer. I do believe in second chances. He sounds like a wonderful man, and I hope and pray that his actions of today speak loud and clear to all that matter. This is awful, and he did exactly what he was ordered to do by the judge. Have yall spoken to the judge lately? Is he incarcerated now? Prayers to you.

    • Hope Mustakim says:

      We have an attorney who we’re very confident in. We’ve never spoken directly to the judge. I didn’t know we could? Our attorney hadn’t advised us to. He is detained now in Pearsall, TX. He’s been at STDC for 3 months now. The 31st of this month will be our 1-year anniversary and the 4-month mark since he was taken into custody. Thank you for your prayers!! Hope

  9. Dave says:

    Hi,

    I came across your story from Huffington Post. I’m so sorry for what you are going through right now. My prayers are with you and your family. Having read your story though it doesn’t seem like all is not lost yet. The Supreme Court in 2006 ruled that simple possession is not an aggravated felony (unless it was for possession of the date rape drug). Given that your husband is a legal resident for many years before his possession arrest he should be eligible for cancellation of removal. Have you tried to obtain this?

  10. Carmen Llanes says:

    Hope, there will be members of our coalition, Texans United For Families, there on Thursday to support you & Naz at the hearing. We would like to stay in contact with you, and we send you all our support and prayers in the time being.

    On a personal note, in 6 months I am marrying the man I plan to spend the rest of my life with, who is also a Legal “Permanent” Resident, and I have repeatedly seen how ruthlessly DHS will seize the people we love and threaten to take them away forever with no just cause. I pray that you two will be reunited quickly and can get on with spending the rest of your lives together in peace. All the best to you both.

    • Hope Mustakim says:

      Thank you for your support! Looking forward to meeting the TUF folks :) will keep the website updated so just keep checking back! Congrats on your engagement! much love to you both. :)

  11. Sandra says:

    Hi, Hope–

    Your story touched my heart. I will keep you and your husband in my prayers.

    Sandra Corbett
    TSTC Zumba Buddy

  12. Pingback: Favor, Love, and Waiting | I BELIEVE in a changed life.

  13. Andy Hogue says:

    Do Nazry’s Valley View peeps know about this, yet? I’m surprised to hear about this at all, and can’t believe this is happening (though I know well the drug and alcohol culture in Cooke County). Let’s do something!!!

    • Hope Mustakim says:

      I’m not sure. I hoped that the word would spread. Please tell everyone!
      Thank you!!
      See you tomorrow at 1pm in the East annex of the Cooke county courthouse!
      You’re also welcome to join the group at 11am at Sarah’s on the square (across the street from the courthouse.)

  14. Audrey says:

    Your hope and positivity are so inspiring! A dear friend of mine is in a similar situation: a Lawful Permanent Resident for decades, he was taken into ICE custody due to an old conviction for possession. He’s now subject to mandatory detention while appealing his case, and needless to say the pace is proving intolerably slow. My heart goes out to all those locked up in such facilities, and I will pray for a happy resolution (and freedom!) for your Naz.

  15. Pingback: Favor, Love, & Waiting | I BELIEVE in a changed life.

  16. Babette Smith says:

    Hello,

    I wanted to drop you a line and compliment you on your website and blog. Nice layout, good tips, and an overall great resource on immigration law and news from a personal perspective.

    I currently work for an immigration law firm and we are interested in advertising on your site because we think it would be a great fit for us.

    Please let me know if this is possible.

    Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

  17. Pingback: “If We Can Do It in Texas…” | OccuWorld

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>