Press Releases

Ohio Physician Receives Citizenship After Successful CAIR-Columbus Lawsuit

(COLUMBUS, OHIO, 10/3/2018) ”” The Columbus, Ohio, chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Columbus) announced today that it has successfully resolved another citizenship delay lawsuit.

The suit, filed in federal court for the Southern District of Ohio, was on behalf of a local Muslim physician, Dr. Aasim Rehman, who had been a lawful permanent resident of the United States since 2014.  

This is the third citizenship delay lawsuit CAIR-Columbus has resolved this year on behalf of local Muslim doctors who experienced unreasonable delays in their applications.

Dr. Rehman had previously contacted the offices of his congressperson and senator to seek their help in resolving this matter. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) informed the offices of his congressional representatives that Dr. Rehman was still undergoing a background check.

Dr. Rehman then made numerous other inquires with USCIS, and contacted the office of the CIS Ombudsman, but to no avail. Dr. Rehman did not have a criminal record and there was nothing in his background that warranted a never-ending background check. After more than a year of waiting, Dr. Rehman contacted the CAIR-Columbus office to seek their help in getting his application adjudicated.  

“We are pleased to announce that since the filing of our lawsuit, we were able to successfully resolve the delay in adjudication, and our client has been officially sworn in as a United States citizen,” said CAIR-Columbus Legal Director Romin Iqbal, one of the attorneys who filed the case. “Applicants from Muslim-majority countries are often subjected to lengthy delays in all types of immigration applications because they are viewed with suspicion by USCIS due to their country of origin, travel or other subjective criteria that does not actually bar them from qualifying for the immigration benefit they seek. There is no reason why a law-abiding doctor who takes care of the sick in our society should have to file a lawsuit to end a sixteen month background check.”

“Becoming a United States citizen was one of the proudest days of my life and I would like to thank the CAIR-Columbus team for their help,” said Dr. Rehman.

CAIR-Columbus has reported an increase in immigration delays of all types and has filed immigration-related lawsuits for over 42 plaintiffs just since the beginning of 2017. The majority of those cases have already been successfully resolved in favor of plaintiffs.

Ohio Muslims who are facing similar delays are being urged to contact CAIR-Columbus for assistance by filing an incident report online at: https://www.cair-columbus.com/

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Columbus Executive Director Jennifer Nimer, 614-451-3232, jnimer@cair.com

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