ADC Congratulates Imad Hamad on Legal Victory and Impending Citizenship
Washington, DC, Feb. 19 — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) congratulates its Midwest Regional Director, Imad Hamad, on finally winning his battle against an INS secret evidence deportation case and gaining the right to become a US citizen.
The legal battle between Hamad and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) began fourteen years ago when the INS opposed his application for permanent residency. INS later moved to deport Hamad, a stateless Palestinian, on the grounds that he was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a charge he has always denied. In its effort to deport Hamad, the INS has relied on secret evidence, shown only to the judge and denied to Hamad and his attorneys. In 1997, Hamad was awarded the right to adjust his status and become a US citizen. The INS appealed, but today a panel of judges confirmed the ruling, ended once and for all the attempts to deport Hamad, and cleared the way for him to gain citizenship.
Imad Hamad said that “When I heard the news, it literally brought tears to my eyes. I realized that justice will prevail no matter how difficult it is or how long it takes. I owe this victory to everyone who was involved. This is not a personal victory, but a victory for civil liberties in the United States. It’s a big relief to my wife and children who had to go through years of wondering what would come next. I will never forget the tears in their eyes during this long ordeal and their smiles today. This proves again that this is a great country and that incidents of persecution, such as my case, do not reflect the true nature of American society. I want to commend the judges who were fair and all those who dared to stand for justice in this case.” ADC’s Midwest Regional office in Dearborn, Michigan, where Imad Hamad is Director, is hosting a reception on Friday, Feb. 26, to celebrate the one year anniversary of the office’s founding. This event will now double as a celebration of Hamad’s legal victory.
ADC President Hala Maksoud said that “We are delighted that, at last, after fourteen years, Imad Hamad and his family can finally have a normal life.”