Attorney fighting to keep Rockland college student from deportation

Posted: Updated:
NEW CITY -

A college student from Rockland County is facing deportation, even though criminal charges against him have been dropped.

Omar Helalat, from New City, has been in a federal detention facility near Buffalo since last spring.

His Buffalo-based attorney, Matthew Borowski, is fighting to bond out the SUNY Albany student, who is now facing deportation.

The DACA recipient was brought legally to the country by his parents from Jordan. He was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement a month before he achieved his bachelor’s degree after domestic violence charges were filed against him. Those charges have been dropped.

"If the reason why you take an immigrant into custody and subject him to removal proceedings is because he has been charged with a criminal offense … once those charges are dismissed, you should reverse course and release him and restore him to the status he was,” says Borowski.

Helalat’s temporary legal status has been revoked, and a federal judge is treating him as an arriving alien because he legally traveled to his home country of Jordan to visit family previously.           

Borowski says he is appealing the judge’s decision and that the honor student deserves to stay in the country.

"If we are successful in getting him released, then he can go back to school. He can pursue other routes towards lawful status,” he says.

News 12 reached out to ICE for comment on this case, but received an automated reply asking News 12 to resubmit questions when the government shutdown ends.

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