An Albanian immigrant who worked as a waiter at a Long Island diner for 24 years — and always filed his taxes — said immigration agents shackled him two months ago, threw him in jail for two days and then put him on a plane back to his native country.
Sokol Vokshi, 47, said he wasn’t even allowed to call his wife or two kids at their home in Elmont during the ordeal.
“I didn’t know what hit me,” Vokshi, now stranded in Durrës, Albania, told The Post Monday.
His immigration lawyer, Altin Nanaj, said the deportation was highly unusual because Vokshi had been issued a Social Security number, given annual work permits, paid his taxes every year, and has no criminal record.
Jimmy Trahanas, the owner of the Golden Reef Diner in Rockville Centre, said he didn’t know what to make of it when Vokshi – known as “Sal” – suddenly didn’t show up for work.
“The customers were upset,” he said. “Everybody was asking for him.”
So far, more than $11,600 from 168 people has been raised for the “Get Sal Back to the USA” fund started by customer Warren Prosky on April 22.
“Sal came to the US 24 years ago and has worked at the Golden Reef diner for those 24 years. He married a woman from Albania, and they have two children, ages 12 and 14,” reads the fund blurb.
“Sal owns his house in Elmont, NY and has been trying to become an American for years.”
Vokshi said he was a young political asylum seeker when he made it to New York in 1993.
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