Press Releases

CAIR-Ohio Wins Important Naturalization Delay Lawsuit

CAIR-logo(COLUMBUS, OHIO – 9/6/13) — The Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) announced today that it received a favorable ruling in an important immigration case.

The case, Ahmed v. Holder, involved a Muslim man who was experiencing a delay of his naturalization application because United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) claimed his background check could not be completed because he was allegedly “under criminal investigation.” Ahmed denied the allegations and USCIS did not produce any evidence to substantiate their claim.

Despite the fact that Ahmed, who had lived in the United States for more than 12 years, had no criminal history whatsoever, USCIS continued to claim it could not proceed with his application and refused to schedule Ahmed's naturalization interview.

CAIR-Ohio filed a lawsuit asking the court to order USCIS to schedule Ahmed's interview and otherwise proceed with his naturalization application. Ultimately the judge found that it was unreasonable to keep Ahmed's application pending indefinitely in the absence of any charges and ordered USCIS to schedule his interview so his application could proceed.

“We believe this case is extremely important because USCIS must not be allowed to delay immigration applications indefinitely,” said CAIR-Ohio Legal Director Jennifer Nimer. “We hope this will send a message to USCIS that they can't keep people in legal limbo forever by refusing to adjudicate applications based on unsubstantiated allegations.”

She noted the recent revelation of a covert national security program that allows the FBI and immigration authorities to indefinitely delay immigration for Muslims and those from Muslim countries.

SEE: FBI Granted Power to Delay Citizenship for Muslims

CAIR-OH is a chapter of America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: Legal Director Jennifer Nimer, 614-451-3232 or jnimer@cair.com; Staff Attorney Romin Iqbal 614-451-3232 or riqbal@cair.com

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