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Posted under: News

Young Girl Has Ridiculously Tearjerking Conversation With Her Previously Incarcerated Dad: ‘You’re Actually A Great Parent’

A 2016 clip has resurfaced showing criminal justice advocate Khalil Cumberbatch speaking to his daughter about being imprisoned.

Thousands of Instagram users had to break out the tissues after watching a recently resurfaced 2016 clip from The Skin Deep, showing an emotional conversation between social justice advocate Khalil Cumberbatch and his then 9-year-old daughter Mia. 

The Skin Deep is a long-running video series where two people have in-depth personal discussions about varying types of relationships. 

Khalil and Mia spoke about their relationship and touched on how difficult it was for Mia when Khalil was being held by Immigration and Naturalization Service after being released from prison in 2010. 

"When I met you, when you came into my life, I realized for the first time in my life that I had someone who depended on me 100%," he told Mia. 

"The person that I am today largely is because of you. And the father that I am today is also largely because of you," he added. 

"You're my best friend because you're always there when I need help," a teary Mia said in response. 

He went on to say that he had to grow up once he and his wife had Mia and that one of his greatest fears is that he will look back on his life and not feel like he was a good parent. 

His daughter cut him off, telling him that she couldn't think of anything that he could do better as a father, telling him "you're actually a great parent."

Mia and Khalil then spoke about the day he was released from jail. 

"The day that I got out of jail, of immigration detention, that is also the day that I am the most proud of you because we as a family, and especially your mother, went through a very tough time. We had to live our lives in a way that your mother wasn't used to, that your sister wasn't used to, and what i wasn't used to," he said. 

"But we got through it and the day that the judge decided to let me go, and I saw you downstairs after they had released me, I realized that you were way stronger than I thought you were. Because you came through that and you didn't let it change you," he added. 

Cumberbatch was a beloved member of his community when he was arrested by immigration and held in detention for months. In 2003, he was convicted of first degree robbery and spent seven years incarcerated. He was released in 2010 and discharged from post-release supervision in 2012 but his conviction made him a target for immigration.

He was brought to the United States as a small child from Guyana, and after his release from prison dedicated his life to his wife, children, education and social justice. 

He is now working as a lecturer at Columbia University, a senior Advisor to New Yorkers United for Justice and a Senior Fellow at the Council on Criminal Justice.

Despite his 25 years in the country and his dedication to those around him, he was still slated for deportation after his release from immigration custody in 2014. But hundreds of people sent letters to elected officials arguing for him and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued him a pardon, one of only two he issued in 2014.  

“I applaud Governor Cuomo for granting a pardon to Khalil Cumberbatch, and for his ongoing commitment to providing meaningful opportunities for the formerly incarcerated. As Khalil's elected Representative, I proudly joined the overwhelming community and organizational support for him as he faced imminent deportation and exile from his entire family, despite all he had done to rebuild his life," House Rep. Gregory Meeks said in 2014.

"Mr. Cumberbatch's well-documented rehabilitation demonstrates the need for supportive re-entry programs and the full restoration of rights after incarceration. It is only after one is able to truly rebuild his life, and rejoin all aspects of societal responsibility that getting support and lending support is possible and necessary. Mr. Cumberbatch's pardon allows others to see that we live in a state where full participation is needed and wanted,” Meeks added. 

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