(CN) – Legislation was introduced Tuesday to grant asylum to a Turkish Kurd after an unsuccessful 18 year application process through the U.S. immigration and security agencies.
“This exercise has gone on long enough. Mr. Parlak deserves the chance to remain in his community and raise his daughter without the daily fear of arrest or deportation” said Senator Carl Levin, D-Michigan.
Ibrahim Parlak came to the U.S. from Turkey in 1991 and currently resides in Michigan.
In his asylum application, Ibrahim Parlak divulged that he was involved in an armed skirmish with Turkish forces as a member of the PKK, the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, and had been jailed.
The PKK is known to be militant, with the goal of establishing a Kurdish country in parts of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria. The borders of these countries divide a region of largely Kurdish populations.
Because of Parlak’s activity with the PKK, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service determined Parlak had a credible fear of returning to Turkey and he was granted asylum, says a press release from Senator Levin’s office.
The Department of Homeland Security, however, objected to Parlak’s asylum, claiming he had not stated that he had been jailed in Turkey.
Levin replied that “it is incongruous to conclude that he was intentionally hiding those facts from the Department of Justice in 1993, when he detailed them explicitly to the Department of Justice in 1991”.
Senator Levin and Congressman Fred Upton of Michigan introduced the legislation in the Senate and House.