‘I live in a nightmare.’ Elmsford photographer deported to war-torn Yemen
A photographer from Elmsford, known for his wildlife photography, was deported to war-torn Yemen last week following a check-in with immigration.
Anwar Alomaisi’s attorney says the 42-year-old overstayed his visa and was unable to get a green card. He says his client has no criminal record and has paid his taxes.
As an appeal to reopen Anwar’s case is filed, a GoFundMe to pay for his legal fees has exploded in just one day – raising almost $8,000.
There has been an outpouring of support from the Hudson Valley, where he has volunteered, advocated for causes and shared his love for wildlife photography for more than two decades.
Alomaisi spoke with News 12 via WhatsApp on Tuesday from Yemen, where he is now in hiding.
"It’s hard. I live in like a nightmare," he says.
Anwar says he fears for his life, having been outspoken about the war while living in the states.
"I'm like afraid to stay here and I'm trying to leave the country, but my lawyer says if I leave the country you are going to lose your case,” he says. "America is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet and…people there should be thankful. You live in like heaven."
News 12 reached out to Immigration and Customs Enforcement who says Anwar was given an order of removal in 2005. He filed an appeal which was denied, leading to his deportation.