Lisa Chourabi hasn’t seen her husband since February of this year.
After speaking with immigration attorneys, Chourabi said they lost their appeal and her husband, Hatem, was on a final deportation list to go back to Tunisia. Now with the pandemic, his fate is in limbo.
“We want this over with. Just don’t let him sit there anymore,” said Chourabi.
Chourabi said she reached out to the Tunisian embassy, but there is a travel ban so her husband can’t fly back to his home country. He’s currently being held at the Glades County Detention Facility in Moore Haven.
Chourabi said she’s desperate for his release with supervision as she’s now concerned over the spread of COVID-19 in close quarters. She communicates with her husband virtually and she claims they don’t have enough protective equipment in the facility like masks.
“My worst fear right now is he got sick last week. So he got sick and he had body aches, and he said, yeah, there’s a bunch of people here now with body aches, hot flashes, cough, fever,” said Chourabi.
While Chourabi said her husband seems to be in good health now, she’s frustrated and wants answers as to what will happen next to ensure his safety.
“Why am I gonna let him sit there wasting his life? I’d rather him get out as fast as possible if there’s any way that I can help him,” said Chourabi.
In late April, a federal judge ordered ICE to start releasing some of their non-violent detainees to reduce the population to 75% capacity from three detention centers in South Florida.
However, Chourabi claims that immigration authorities only transferred some detainees around to other facilities.
She was among dozens of protesters on Tuesday calling for answers. A large group showed up outside the Broward Transitional Center in Plantation demanding changes and more protective equipment and procedures for those stuck in ICE facilities.
Chourabi said she’s trying to be patient, but she doesn’t know where else to turn as she’s left raising her three daughters alone.
“I just wish that he could come home and help me and be with his kids. His kids need him,” said Chourabi.
NBC 6 reached out to immigration authorities on this case and is awaiting a response.