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UW community rallies for student held at NW Detention Center

The University of Washington community is fighting for the release of a student originally from The Gambia.

This comes as concerns have been raised about a push from the Trump administration to deport immigrants.

Bengally Fatty, who is a father and a husband, was detained by ICE in September of 2017. He has an order of deportation from 2011. His attorney, Chris Strawn with the University of Washington Law Clinic, said Fatty has been regularly checking in with ICE and said Gambia had not produced travel documents at the time.

"With the current administration, we're seeing a renewed focus on trying to get travel documents or canceling these orders of supervision."

The Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Washington stepped in this fall to help his cause.

"In interviewing him, we identified that he had been a victim of labor trafficking and that he was eligible for a T-Visa."

On Wednesday, attorneys asked the judge to let Bengally Fatty out on bond and halt the deportation process while he waits to see if he is granted the visa that allows for a path to citizenship. The judge denied the bond.

"We're disappointed, but we're getting through," said Rebecca Fatty, Bengally’s wife

A decision that means more waiting for Rebecca Fatty and their daughter.

"It's a glass wall with a phone, so he can't hold her. Can't hold his hand. It's hard; I want him to see her face. I want her to know his face even though he can't hold her."

We were told by attorneys that the judge discussed Bengally's criminal history, which includes a conviction for marijuana possession.

"We went into this hearing not denying that he has some criminal past, but that really, in the last years he has turned his life around."

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