Moroccan born Siham Byah is an activist and single mother. She has lived in the United States since 1999, checking in yearly with the US immigration services as part of several motions/appeals pending before the immigration courts to secure asylum and had been issued a stay of deportation. But in the fall of 2017, she got a surprise call from her immigration officer, who lured her in at an earlier date than her scheduled appointment in December. She complied and went in with her attorney and partner on November 7; without warning, she was arrested and detained by ICE.
Siham has no criminal record and has complied with ICE fully for the last 18 years. So why was she detained and subsequently deported? Siham Byah is an activist and has dedicated her life to fighting for human rights and freedom from tyranny. Her extradition to Morocco was nothing more than retaliation for her political opinions and actions. We question its legality and denounce its injustice.
Her two month long detention was inhumane; the conditions were, in her own words, of “subhuman standards.” She was routinely placed in solitary confinement. She was denied meals, hygiene products, and visits. Her and other detainees filled bottles with hot water to stay warm in their unheated cells. Letters from supporters were kept from her. In face of this degrading treatment, Siham began advocating for her fellow detainees, entering a hunger strike, which resulted in even worse treatment by the prison administration.
Siham was transferred twice in the dead of night, first to Bristol County jail, and then to a facility in DC with absolutely no warning given to her attorney or loved ones. Despite having been issued a stay of deportation to be able to remain in the United States, on December 26th she was deported back to Morocco with nothing but the thin clothing on her back. November 7, 2017 was the last day Siham has seen her eight year old son, Naseem. Against her wishes and though he lived with and was lovingly cared for by her partner, Aziz, Naseem was taken by the Department of Children and Families. She has not consistently been able to communicate with him since.
It is insulting that DCF collaborates with ICE when its mission is to improve the welfare of Massachusetts families, when clearly ICE does nothing more than rip families apart and terrorize communities. As friends and loved ones of Siham, we are coming together to demand justice not just for Siham and Naseem, but for all immigrants. Members of the community have shown up at the federal ICE headquarters in Boston as well as DCF offices to denounce this violent assault on a family. DCF says they are working on a reunification plan for Siham and Naseem, but we need your help to continue to apply pressure and ensure that they follow through.
Join the campaign and help us reunite Siham and Naseem by clicking here.