America. It’s a great country. For 14 years, Imad Hamad was a Palestinian-born immigrant, fighting to become a U.S. citizen. The Immigration and Naturalization Service was fighting just as hard to deport him.

Along the road, Hamad won the support of political heavyweights from the ACLU to U.S. Sen. Carl Levin.

At the core of the government’s case was “secret evidence” withheld even from Hamad and his attorney. That evidence failed to sway a judge, and in 1999 the INS was forced to drop its opposition and welcome Hamad as an American.

Since then, as the indefatigable leader of the American-Arab
Anti-Discrimination Committee, the energetic Hamad has gone from persona non grata to celebrated citizen, a near-constant honoree and government and civic group appointee, and a 2003 Detroit News Michiganian of the Year.

But Hamad’s roller-coaster ride as an American is hardly over”¦

 

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