Hamdi v. U.S.C.I.S.

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    Full Name : Tarek Hamdi v. United States Citizenship and Immigration Service; Department of Homeland Security; Irene Martin, Director, San Bernardino Field Office, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service; Jane Arellano, Director, Los Angeles Office, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; Alejandro Mayorkas, Director, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; Janet Napolitano, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security.

    Case Number : 10-00984

    Court : United States District Court for the Central District of California

    Judge : Hon. Virginia A. Phillips

    Co-Counsel : N/A

    VIDEO: A good citizen.

    Tarek Hamdi, a national of Egypt, has lived in the United States for over 30 years. After marrying a U.S. citizen, he became a lawful permanent resident and, in 2001, he applied to naturalize as a U.S. citizen. Although the immigration code says naturalization applications must be decided in six months, Hamdi waited nine years for a decision on the merits of his application.

    Hamdi and his U.S. citizen wife and four daughters are practicing Muslims. Hamdi donates money to charitable organizations every year in accordance with Islamic charitable giving practices and teachings, including zakat, one of the five pillars of Islam and mandatory tithing for all observant Muslims.

    The ACLU/SC filed suit on Hamdi’s behalf in June 2010, asking that the court finally review the matter of his eligibility to naturalize, after USCIS had lost, delayed and finally denied his application. The agency claimed that Hamdi was “associated” with Benevolence International Foundation, an Islamic charity, solely on the basis of a lawful charitable donation he made to the organization in 2000. In 2002, the Treasury Department designated the foundation as a financier of terrorism.

    Case Developments

    UPDATE
    May 10, 2012

    Tarek Hamdi was sworn in as an American Citizen.

    RULING
    March 1, 2012

    Judge Phillips ruled that Hamdi was eligible to naturalize as a U.S. citizen. Read the rulingRead more about the ruling.

    FILING
    June 16, 2010

    The ACLU filed suit against the USCIS seeking review of Hamdi’s naturalization application. Read more about the suit.