With his daughter in a coma, and his immigration hearing just hours away, Mozammel Hoque was overwhelmed Tuesday night.
The Bangladeshi immigrant is facing deportation, but given the dire circumstance he's hoping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) won't take him into custody.
"If anything happens to her, I have to be with her, the rest of her life. That I can take care of her," Hoque said.
19-year-old Mushrat Hoque is in critical condition after a vehicle struck her in Queens on Monday. It happened just hours after she wrote a letter to ICE, begging for leniency for her father.
"She said, 'I'm going to the gym. When I come back, I'll sign it and I'll give it to you,' but she never gave it to me,'" Mozammel Hoque said.
Hoque has been on ICE's radar since 2008 and is currently under supervision. He has lived in the country for nearly 30 years. He said he moved here to be an actor, but his sponsors took his passport away.
In 2008, he said ICE was notified of his undocumented status following a landlord dispute. After nine months in immigration jail, he took another detainee's advice.
"The guy says, 'I'm here almost six years, so it's better to sign the deportation and go back to your country, make money and send money for your kids,'" Hoque said. "That's what I did: I signed my deportation."
The 49-year-old is a single father who works in real estate. He has two college-age children and a middle schooler. His daughter who was injured in the car accident is a law student at Rutgers.
The Wednesday immigration hearing is one of many he has had over the years, but under the current White House administration Hoque is afraid he might be detained.
"I want them to know about my kids, about me, what I'm doing, how I am feeding them, and how they depend on me. That's what I want them to watch," Hoque said.
Without knowing his fate, he said it's difficult to focus on his daughter and her recovery.