DETROIT – Amid farewell songs from friends and supporters, Rabih Haddad’s wife and children left Monday to join him in the Middle East.

Salma Al-Rushaid, who had been ordered deported along with three of the couple’s four children, planned to renew her passport in her native Kuwait in the coming week and travel to Lebanon, where she and the children will be reunited with Rabih Haddad.

Haddad is the deported co-founder of an Islamic charity that federal authorities accused of funneling money to al-Qaida.

Al-Rushaid and her children, ages 5 through 13, waved to supporters, who rallied outside Detroit immigration offices and held signs that read: “Take care of them” and “Stop targeting our brothers and sisters.” She then went inside without speaking to reporters.

Her attorney, Noel Saleh, spoke on her behalf as officials went over paperwork with her before the family was whisked out a back door to Detroit Metropolitan Airport. He said Al-Rushaid was in good spirits and looked forward to seeing Haddad.

“She knows that the American people is not what the American government did to her,” Saleh said.

Haddad was deported to his native Lebanon July 15 after spending 19 months in custody on a visa violation. He was arrested Dec. 14, 2001, the same day the suburban Chicago offices of Global Relief Foundation were raided.

Neither he nor the charity has been charged with a terrorism-related crime.

Michelle Mercier, a member of the Free Rabih Haddad Committee, rode to the immigration offices in a van with Al-Rushaid and two of her children. Mercier said she and other women tried to keep Al-Rushaid’s spirits high before she left.

“Remembering some of the things we have done in the past and reminding her that we will continue to try to clear their name,” said Mercier, of Ann Arbor.

Before Al-Rushaid and the children arrived, a pickup truck carried about a dozen pieces of the family’s luggage to the offices. Supporters sang: “Whether here or Lebanon we love you like our family” as others held signs with anti-government slogans.

Across the street, construction workers put up a plywood sign with “Remember 911” written in orange spray paint in reference to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. One of the workers, Jeff DeVries, 33, of Dearborn, said he didn’t think the government would have deported the family without cause.

“It is about terrorism,” said DeVries, an Australian native who noted that he legally gained permanent resident immigration status. “We have to not have a short memory.”

The Department of Justice has declined comment on the government’s allegations about Global Relief or the family’s deportations. But officials noted the Department of Homeland Security has stepped up the enforcement of immigration laws.

In November, Al-Rushaid and three of the couple’s children were ordered removed on visa violations. The fourth child is a U.S. citizen. Haddad and his family had unsuccessfully sought political asylum, and the delay in their removal was because of appeals.

On Monday, Greg Palmore, spokesman for the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in Detroit, said the office would not comment on the case. He said no update on the family’s travels would be released at least until later in the week.

“We just want her to have a safe trip home,” Palmore said.

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