MI woman fearing deportation moves into church

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NBC News (NBC) - A woman who has lived in Michigan for 13 years moved into a church Monday to avoid a deportation order.

The congregation is rallying around her as she and her son figure out what to do.

Saheeda Nadeem moved into First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo on her deportation day.

She is a single mother from Pakistan.

"My only son is here and they are asking me to go back. I don't want to leave him."

She hasn't been to Pakistan in 40 years and has no family there.

Her son, Samad Nadeem said, "She has no one to take care of her and most importantly, Kalamazoo is her one true home."

For more than a decade, Saheeda has worked as a caregiver at a group home in Kalamazoo.

Nathan Dannison, Pastor said, ""She's kind of their mom and they're pretty severely disabled. And she had to explain to them that she wouldn't be coming back tomorrow and they didn't understand. And they were crying and sort of hanging on to her, but she had to go."

Now, Saheeda must stay inside the church or risk deportation.

Dannison added, "She was so sad because she had to say goodbye."

A day of many goodbyes started at a Kalamazoo cemetery.

Saheeda visits her daughter's grave every morning, which is no longer a possibility.

'if she steps outside the doors of the church, ICE could arrest her," said Nathan Dannison.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy limits action at places of worship, except in extreme cases.

"She's never had any criminal offense at all. She has a full-time job. She has a house. She's established in the community."

A Kalamazoo promise scholar, Samad is protected by DACA until next year and he is vowing to stay with his mom, wherever that may be.

Saheeda Nadeem said, "I feel like home, I don't have a place to go now."