Man Arrested in Times Square Probe Fights Deportation

By DENISE LAVOIE
|  Wednesday, Jun 2, 2010  |  Updated 7:00 AM EDT
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Times Square Bomb Scare

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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder holds a press conference at Department of Justice headquarters regarding the investigation into the recent attempted Times Square car bombing May 4, 2010 in Washington, DC. Faisal Shahzad, 30, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan was arrested in connection with the case while on board a flight leaving the country.

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A judge on Tuesday scheduled an August deportation hearing for a Pakistani man arrested in Massachusetts on an immigration violation during an investigation of the failed Times Square bombing, finding that he has been living illegally in the country since 1991.

Pir Khan, 43, of Watertown, was one of three men arrested last month as authorities followed the money trail in their inquiry about Faisal Shahzad, who's accused of trying to set off a car bomb in New York City on May 1.

Authorities have said the men may have given money to Shahzad through a network used by immigrants without knowing how the money would be used.

On Tuesday, U.S. Immigration Judge Matthew D'Angelo found Khan is eligible for deportation because he entered the United States illegally through Mexico in 1991. D'Angelo scheduled a hearing for Aug. 10.

Khan's lawyer, Saher Macarius, said he'll argue that Khan should be allowed to stay in the United States because he has lived here for more than 10 years without any arrests and that his deportation would pose an "extreme and unusual" hardship for an American woman he married in 2008.

Khan, a cab driver, was arrested on May 13, along with his cousin, Aftab Khan, and Mohammad Shafiq Rahman, of South Portland, Maine. All three have been charged with immigration violations. None of the men have been charged criminally in the Times Square plot.

Khan applied for political asylum in 1994, but lost that bid to stay in the United States in 2007. He was appealing that ruling. His lawyer said he married a Lewiston, Maine, woman in December 2008.

Macarius, who represents both Pir Khan and Aftab Khan, said both men vehemently deny having any connection to Shahzad.

But during a hearing last month, an official from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that Shahzad's cell phone number was stored in Aftab Khan's phone and written on an envelope seized from his possessions.

An immigration judge ordered Aftab Khan deported last week. Macarius said he will appeal the ruling.

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