The law firm Polsinelli is rallying behind Lawrence scientist Syed A. Jamal, who is fighting orders of deportation back to his native Bangladesh.
A team of Kansas City-based attorneys for the firm will provide pro bono assistance to Jamal's lawyer, Rheka Sharma-Crawford, Polisinelli announced Thursday.
Polsinelli lawyer Alan Claus Anderson, who lives near Jamal's family in west Lawrence, initiated the effort.
Anderson said in a press release that his children are good friends with Jamal's three children, who are U.S. citizens.
Jamal, 55, remains detained in Platte County awaiting action from the Board of Immigration Appeals and the U.S. District Court of Western Missouri. Anderson said "it's shameful...when he could be released to his family while the legal process runs its course.
"We hope to reunite them very soon."
Jamal was arrested outside his home Jan. 24 while waking his daughter to school. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said he had overstayed his visa by several years.
Except for a brief return to Bangladesh in the 2002, Jamal has studied in the Kansas City area, done research and taught as an adjunct professor at several colleges. An online petition supporting him drew more than 100,000 signatures.