Berrien County restaurant owner fighting to stay in America

Harbert, Mich. (WNDU) – WNDU has been following this story for decades.

Now, Berrien County restaurant owner Ibrahim Parlock is facing a new deportation battle.

This comes after a judge in 2018 allowed Perlak to remain in the United States after fleeing Turkey in the 90s.

On Monday, a press conference was held at Cafe Gulistan, Perlac Restaurant in Harbert.

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is appealing Perlock’s “2018 win” not because of anything that happened in court, but because of the transcript of Perlock’s previous court testimony from an audio recording, Perlock’s attorneys say.

On October 31, the BIA issued a decision to remand the case to an immigration judge. This is due to the Justice Department’s record of Perlock’s previous court testimony, which found 400-plus times that professional transcribers not in the courtroom failed to understand Perlock’s answers to the judge’s questions.

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“There was no question the immigration judge raised about his understanding of what the evidence was,” explained Perlock’s attorney, Robert Carpenter. “I had no problem understanding Ibrahim and the government lawyers for those four hours, so it’s not an issue of what happened in court. This is a problem because the transcriber tells what happened in the courtroom from his or her review of the audio record.

“Yes, I understand, I have Kurdish-English,” Perlak said. “My entire adult life has been here. I mean, friends, family and business. I have everything, here it is.

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In 2020, Perlock told WNDU in a letter filed by the Department of Homeland Security in a brief about him that he had no ties to and had no interest in the Kurdish organization since 1991, when he moved to the United States. The Turkish government, reportedly rationalizing those reasons, would prevent Parlak from being tortured in Turkey, where he no longer has citizenship because the country took it away.

But Parlak says he is almost certain to be killed at a Turkish airport.

“Then they can blame, ‘Oh, some extremist did it, or who did it,’ or whatever. That way they can clean themselves,” Perlak said.

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“It’s not just that Ibrahim is going to be tortured by the Turkish government, which an immigration judge found accurate in 2018,” Carpenter said. “She found out that he had been tortured by the Turkish government in the past and would be again, and that’s why CAT was given relief. So, you know, it’s not paranoia. Unfortunately for Ibrahim, it’s reality.

Next week, Parlock’s team will file an appeal with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. He files a petition to reopen the BIA.

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