A Kalamazoo woman who overstayed her visa to the United States hopes to avoid deportation by living at a local church.
Immigration authorities have generally avoided enforcement raids at places of worship. That’s why 62-year-old Saheeda Nadeem now lives at First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo.
First Congregational says it welcomes Nadeem while she fights an order to leave the country. She grew up in Pakistan, but she says Kalamazoo is now her home, and her son’s.
Nadeem’s daughter died in a car crash in 2016. On Monday, Nadeem spoke of a need to stay close to her daughter’s grave.
“I have a grave place also, keeping there with my daughter. I want to bury there actually.”
Nadeem’s lawyer says she has not been accused of a crime. Her son has protected status until next year under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program.