New Britain Pizza Shop Couple to be Deported to Pakistan

A New Britain couple who owns the Pizza Corner is set to be deported to Pakistan on Friday.

In a last-minute show of support, loved ones of Malik Naveed bin Rehman and Zahida Altaf rallied outside the federal courthouse Thursday to help save the New Britain couple from deportation.

“We started our new business and I have a daughter here and she's going to school now. We have a good life here,” Zahida Altaf said.

The couple’s pizza shop was closed at the start of the day Thursday as the clock for them to return to their native Pakistan ticks. It’s now a waiting game to learn the outcome of an emergency stay of removal.

“It's really unfair considering that they haven't done anything wrong,” Roshanay Tahir said.

The couple’s niece has worked to help re-open her family’s case. Their attorney says their immigration status withstood under the Obama administration because of their American-born daughter, business and the taxes they paid, but the rules changed once the new administration took over.

“I'm really kind of sorry that he's leaving,” Herb Holter said.

Herb and Jenise Holter, of International Hair Stylist, next door said they’ll miss the Pakistani family and their pizza if they leave for good.

“I’m just sad for his daughter because all she knows is America. Now she has to go back to Pakistan. That's going change her whole life,” Jenise Holter said.

“We have to leave just like that, lost everything, we lost everything,” Malik Naveed bin Rehman said.

The couple is now hoping for a last minute-miracle to save their business and the life they’ve built.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson John Mohan said the couple entered the U.S. on nonimmigrant visas in 2000, but did not depart the country in accordance with the terms of their visas.

Mohan said an immigration judge with the Executive Office Review issued them final orders of removal in January 2008 and that decision was upheld by the Bureau of Immigration Appeals in May 2010. Both individuals are currently enrolled in the agency’s Alternatives to Detention program.

An attorney for the couple said they will meet with an immigration officer Friday at the time of their departure and the Stay Unit with the Board of Immigration Appeals will be contacted and will decide on the spot if the family can stay in the United States.

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