ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - A man who has lived the last 22 years in St. Louis as a legal, permanent resident is believed to be on a plane to Kabul, Afghanistan deported with no warning his family says.
Mahir Mohammad's nephew tells 5 On Your Side his uncle was arrested in south St. Louis by immigration officials last week. Since then, he had been held at a facility in Arizona, but Fahime Mohammad, the owner of Sameem Afghan Restaurant , says the family learned Tuesday Mahir was put on a plan back to Afghanistan.
The family is worried for his life for several reasons. They say he will have no place to stay and no one to call for help when he lands. They say Mahir is disabled and needs several medications for health problems, and also has two brothers who spent several years working along side U.S. troops in Afghanistan as interpreters. Connects his family fears will make him a target.
"In Afghanistan...we all know how unstable it is," says Fahime. "There is like no hotel, no motel...it's just god bless him...let's hope somebody can give him sanctuary for the night," he says of his 52 year old uncle.
"And god forbid that anybody finds out he has brothers doing what they're doing and he's from America. He's a prime target," worries Fahime.
Mahir's family says he did serve time behind bars for a gun possession crime a decade ago, but they had no idea his legal status was in any kind of jeopardy.
Reached by email in Arizona, immigration officials tell 5 On Your Side they are working to find more information about Mahir Mohammad's status that can be made public.
In the meantime, his family is waiting and hoping to hear from him when he lands in Afghanistan. Fahime Mohammad says Mahir's brothers are deciding who will go to Afghanistan to be with Mahir. One of them, Fahime says, was set to deploy later this month with U.S. forces to again work as an interpreter but that work may have to be canceled to help his brother.