Support UW Student Held in Immigration Detention
Bangally Fatty is an International Studies major in the Jackson School at the University of Washington. He was enrolled for fall quarter, but has missed every class so far. On the morning of September 18th, immigration authorities detained him, separating him from his U.S. citizen wife and newborn daughter, intending to deport him. Instead of working on his degree and spending time with his infant daughter, he is now being held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. While it seems unlikely he's the first student in the entire university who has been detained and has faced deportation, he's the first who has come to the attention of the institution under this administration; others may simply disappear from our classes without explanation, but in Bangally's case his wife contacted his professors immediately after his detention, and members of the UW community began to mobilize support for this family.
Bangally first came to the U.S. from the Gambia to attend college in Florida 15 years ago, but when he ran into financial troubles he became a victim of labor trafficking. He spent several years in difficult economic and personal circumstances, including short-term homelessness and legal problems. He eventually met his wife, Rebecca, a nurse at Harborview, and turned his life around. He enrolled in community college, and transferred to UW. Professor Angelina Godoy describes him as “a truly outstanding student in my 100-student human rights class.” While Bangally’s immigration case is complicated, one thing is clear – he belongs at home with his family and back at UW, continuing his education.
Bangally is currently represented by students enrolled in UW School of Law’s Immigration Clinic. As a victim of trafficking, he is eligible to apply for a “T visa.” The UW Immigration Clinic worked with Bangally to file his T visa application with immigration authorities, but the decision on the application will take months. In the meantime, Bangally should be released from detention so that he can continue his studies and parent his infant daughter while waiting for a decision on his case. As members of the UW community, please join us in standing up for Bangally. Please sign this petition asking immigration authorities for Bangally’s release, and share with UW faculty, staff, students, and alums!
"We, the undersigned members of the University of Washington community, request that Bangally Fatty, a valued member of our community, be released from the Northwest Detention Center and allowed to return to his family and his studies.”
Bangally and his daughter.
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