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Woman who feared deportation can leave church after 3 years

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Posted at 11:40 AM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 11:40:50-05

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A woman who spent nearly three years at a southwestern Michigan church to avoid deportation can return to the community.

A lawyer says Saheeda Nadeem has been given a supervision order by the federal government, which lifts any imminent threat of being deported to Pakistan.

Nadeem has been living at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Kalamazoo.

She arrived in the U.S. 13 years ago but overstayed her visa, fearing for her safety in Pakistan among other factors.

Immigration courts had ordered her removal but no action was taken.

Nadeem sought refuge at the church as the Trump administration took a more aggressive approach toward immigrants.

Nadeem says she feels she now has "freedom."