ICE detaining single mother and political activist Siham Byah, rally planned in Boston

Siham Byah
Siham Byah

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has taken political activist Siham Byah into custody. Byah is a 40-year old single mother, her son is eight years old and an American citizen. She is a resident of Nahant, Massachusetts. Her attorney, Matt Cameron, has confirmed that ICE intends to deport Byah to Morocco. According to Danny McDonald at the Boston Globe,

“Cameron said a deportation order was issued against Byah in the mid-2000s. Since that time, she has applied for stays of removal from the country. As part of that process, she has checked in, usually on an annual basis, with local ICE authorities. In the past, federal authorities have granted her requests for stays formally or simply told her to check in again the following year, Cameron said.

“Tuesday, that changed.

“When Byah reported to ICE’s office in Burlington, she was taken into custody, Cameron said.”

Byah was transferred to an ICE holding facility in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Activists throughout New England have called for Byah to be released. They are asking that people call ICE at 781-359-7500. “Press 4#, and tell the desk officer that you’re calling to ask for Siham Byah (pronounced ‘Cee-haum Bi-yuh’) to be released back to the community.”

Activists also suggest calling Byam’s senators:

Elizabeth Warren: (617) 565-3170
Ed Markey: (617) 565-8519

A petition for her release can be found here.

A rally is planned tomorrow outside the JFK Federal Building at Government Center/City Hall Plaza in Boston, Massachusetts from 5:30-7pm on Wednesday, November 8.

I’ll be there to provide coverage.

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Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for half a decade.

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1 Comment

  1. From Byah’s lawyer, Matt Cameron:

    “My client Siham Tinhinan Byah is now a political prisoner of the United States. Her detention by ICE this morning was totally unexpected, completely unwarranted, and in direct violation of established ICE policy.

    “I was able to speak with Siham a few minutes ago, and she wants to let her many friends and supporters know that she will be on a hunger strike until she is released. She is deeply appreciative of your calls and commitment to show up for her.

    “When I asked her case officer what they intended to do with her eight-year-old son–still in school as I write this–he said that they “assumed” that local family would take him. He also admitted that he had made arrangements with Lynn DCF. I have no words for this.

    “I have known Siham for several years now. She is a fighter. She is an activist. She is unapologetically unafraid to stand up to injustice, racism, misogyny, and discrimination of every kind wherever she finds it. She was a leader in the Boston Occupy movement, and has been organizing for and with causes she believes in for many years.

    “I was told today that the decision to detain Siham without warning or opportunity to leave voluntarily (as they have given everyone else in her situation since Trump) came directly from DC, and was not up to the New England Field Office.

    “We are immediately filing a legal challenge, but the most important thing right now is for this mother to be home with her young son. They are very close, and I can’t even begin to imagine how he is going to take this.

    “Don’t ask. Tell them, now. 781-359-7500”

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Take Action To Stop the Deportation of Muslim Community Activist Siham Byah
  2. Take Action To Stop the Deportation of Muslim Community Activist Siham Byah – Moments for Equality

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