LOCKLAND, OH (FOX19) - A family is celebrating a small victory after a man was spared from immediate deportation Friday.
Amadou Sow has been living and working in the U.S. for 30 years. He was here on a work visa.
In August he had a check-in appointment with ICE in Columbus, when he was arrested. He’s been in custody since.
That is until this week, when he was taken to Louisiana preparing for a chartered flight to his native state, Mauritania. The Board of Immigration Appeals granted Sow a stay of deportation as he was being prepared to board that flight.
FOX19 spoke with Sow’s daughter, Awa Harouna.
“It’s been daunting," she said. "You’re so used to having somebody there and then they are not around you. It’s hard cause you’re always acutely aware there’s a space in your heart.”
Harouna is studying nursing at the University of Cincinnati, helping her mother with the children and keeping track of her father’s case. For now, she’s pleased her father was granted a stay.
“That’s such a load off of us because at least now we know he doesn’t face imminent risk of deportation until he gets a fair trial, fair hearing," she said.
Harouna is one of five siblings who are all American citizens now waiting for what's next, hoping their father gets to come home soon.
"People are set in their ways. If they feel that immigration is a cancerous sore in the American system then that's their opinion despite the fact that this country was built on immigration," she said.
FOX19 does not know why Sow was being deported. FOX19 was unable to find out if he had ever tried to get citizenship. It’s unclear if Sow will stay in Louisiana or be taken back to Columbus while he awaits his hearing.