Wilitha Jarju holds a photo of her husband at their home in Vancouver on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. After living in the U.S. for 17 years, Wilitha Jarju's husband Gibril Jarju was taken from their home by ICE on Feb. 23 and transported back to Gambia. Now, Wilitha Jarju said, the family is trying to carry on while working to bring him back. (Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian via AP)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - A Vancouver family is still reeling after immigration agents arrested the father, who had been living and working in the United States for 17 years, and took him from their home.

Wilitha Jarju[1]’s husband, Gibril Jarju[2], came to the United States around 2000. He was a police officer in The Gambia[3], in west Africa, who left to flee political violence there.

Wilitha Jarju[4] awoke around 5:30 a.m. Feb. 23, when her 12-year-old daughter, Elizabeth Jarju, came to rouse her from bed.

Someone was at the door, Elizabeth told her mother.

Wilitha[5] thought Gibril[6] was headed to work from the family’s home in the Fourth Plain Village neighborhood.

Wilitha Jarju[7] fumbled through the dark to find the front door slightly open. By the time she got to the doorway, there were two Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents standing at the threshold, and a few vehicles parked in the alley behind their building.

“When I saw that, I felt, like, a heat wave go over me,” she said, recalling Elizabeth was screaming.

Wilitha Jarju[8] had enough time to get her glasses and hearing aids before going out to see her husband, who was handcuffed inside one of the vehicles.

The ICE agents wouldn’t let the kids see their father, she said. Thankfully, after some pleading, they let her keep his bank card....

Gibril Jarju[9] was deported, and arrived in The Gambia[10] on March 9.Now, Wilitha Jarju[11] said, the family is trying to carry on while working to bring him back. That process could take 18 months to two years, Wilitha[12] said.He was the family’s primary source of income. Their youngest daughter, rambunctious 6-year-old and Aisha, has Down syndrome, and Wilitha[13], who is hard of hearing, is disabled.Her husband worked at ControlTek, a Vancouver manufacturing company, along with a second job as a Metro Watch security guard. He wanted to become a police officer, Wilitha Jarju[14] said. Gibril Jarju[15] has no criminal record.FUGITIVE STATUSOfficials on the wrong side of politics have faced violence in The Gambia[16], Wilitha[17] said, adding one of Gibril Jarju[18]’s family members was killed in 2009.He tried applying for asylum in the United States, but was denied. However, he was granted permission to stay and work. Later, the couple met, got married in Vancouver in 2009, then started a family.ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley said in an email that an immigration judge in 2007 ruled Gibril Jarju[19] was to leave within a few months. He didn’t go, which landed him on ICE’s list of fugitives.“He was too scared to leave,” Wilitha Jarju[20] said.ICE arrested Jarju[21] in April 2011, but

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