Hope Mustakim

Hope Mustakim

Waco, TX

My name is Hope Mustakim and my husband is Nazry Mustakim. He is a native of Singapore and has been a U.S. resident alien since moving here in 1992 at the age of 13. To make a long story short, Nazry was recently and unexpectedly detained on March 30, 2011 at our home in Waco, TX. The ICE agents said that his prior drug charge in 2005 violated the terms of his residency and he was being detained and put into removal proceedings. Nazry had been battling with addiction since high school and was arrested in 2005 and plead guilty in 2007 to a felony drug possession charge. Between his time of arrest and his court date, Nazry entered a faith-based “recovery home” (or drug treatment center) here in Waco. It transformed his life and he has never been the same since. He completed 6 months of treatment, eventually moving up to become a house monitor there. He continued to grow and progress and eventually was hired on as staff at the non-profit organization that the treatment center belongs to. For 3 years, Nazry was the night monitor at Mission Waco’s homeless shelter, where he built genuine, strong relationships with the broken and downtrodden of our community and he still continues to stay humble and grateful. This is where we met in the summer of 2009. We were married in July 2010 (barely a year ago). He has been drug-free for 6 years now and we are active, contributing members of our community. We recently purchased a home in the most impoverished (and dangerous) area of our city, simply because we have the heart to build our community and serve the people that our culture considers the “least of these.” Nazry is a valued employee, a recent graduate of Texas State Technical College, and a dear friend to all who know him. We are members of two church congregations and also an anonymous 12-step program. 🙂 He sponsors several other recovering addicts who credit him largely with their success in recovery. This program and Nazry’s relationship with God truly saved his life. His family in Singapore has unfortunately disowned him for his conversion from Islam to Christianity. He knew the decision would cost him so much, but in return, it gave him a new life. If we are to return to Singapore, we will have no family or friends to turn to. We will truly be alone. We have high hopes, though, that this will all be resolved somehow. We have hired an attorney with the help of our friends, family and community. We are filing for withholding of removal , due to Singapore’s harsh penalties for drug charges (death penalty by hanging). We do not know if the Singaporean government would punish one of their citizens for committing a crime in another country, but we don’t want to chance that. His mother and sister (who live here in Texas) have also made us aware that our life as Christians in Malaysia will be very difficult, with little to no support, and that Nazry’s extended family will “do anything” to get him to convert back to Islam. This frightens me. We have a huge network of support here in Waco, including news coverage in our local paper and news channels. I’ve started a petition at change.org which can also be accessed through our website. Danny Rangel, a change.org staff writer, has begun working on a blog highlighting our story. We’ve been raising funds through T-shirt sales and wrist-bands. Our slogan is “I BELIEVE in a changed life…FREE NAZ!” Nazry was never told that pleading guilty to the felony would indefinitely cause him to be deported. He was told it was his best option, because he would not serve any time in prison. He was told that the charge “could” affect his immigration status, but was not told that he would then be classified as an “Aggravated Felon” in the eyes of the immigration system. All he knew was that he’d applied for renewal of his green card after his arrest in 2005 and it was granted. After 6 years of flawless probation, our life was interrupted and put to an immediate and cruel halt. As we were starting what seemed to be a normal day– Nazry heading to work, and I to school at Baylor University– we heard a loud knock on the door and before we knew it, 4 armed ICE agents had hauled my loving husband away. Nazry has been detained for over 5 months now and it is taking a tremendous toll on me, as well as the friends and family we hold dear. From what we know, his final hearing is on October 6th at South Texas Detention Complex, where he is being detained in Pearsall, TX. We are hopeful. Please visit our website for more details, updates, supporter videos, pictures, and more! Don’t forget to sign the petition and write a letter of support today! www.wesupportnaz.org

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