Pakistani immigrant deported

August 15, 2004


NEW YORK, Aug 14: Despite pleas from the community and US legislators the US immigration authorities have deported a Pakistani immigrant who was detained after snapping photos of a reservoir in upstate New York, after the 2001 terror attacks.

Ansar Mahmood, 27, a former pizza deliveryman, called a community activist and his supporter on Thursday night saying that he was at JFK airport in New York City and getting ready to board a plane for Pakistan.

Mr Mahmood's case was unique since no terror-related charges were filed against him, investigators discovered that he co- signed an apartment lease and registered a car for a Pakistani couple with expired visas.

Mr Mahmood was convicted in January 2002 of harbouring illegal immigrants and later ordered sent back to Pakistan. He was released from the Buffalo Federal Detention Center on Thursday.

US Senator Charles Schumer had appealed to the US immigration authorities to give Mr Mahmood a break following interventions from the Hudson County community members.