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.
Tarek Hamdi was sworn in as an American Citizen.
Judge Phillips ruled that Hamdi was eligible to naturalize as a U.S. citizen. Read the ruling. Read more about the ruling.
The ACLU filed suit against the USCIS seeking review of Hamdi's naturalization application. Read more about the suit.