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ADC Wins Protection from Summary Deportation for Immigration Scam Victims

Washington, DC, May 22 – A Federal District Court Judge in Detroit yesterday ruled, in a case filed by the Michigan office of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), that immigrants who were victims of an immigration scam could not be summarily deported by the government. US District Court Judge Avern Cohn ruled that none of these individuals may be subject to expedited removal from the United States and gave the Bureau of Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement 20 days to begin normal removal procedures, which would allow each case to be reviewed individually.
In April the US Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Michigan announced the indictment of certain individuals and an INS Officer for a visa scam enterprise and charged them with conspiracy and immigration smuggling between the years 1999-2002. As a result, at least 130 persons of Arab decent were detained by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Many were denied bond. Although the women were released as court proceedings pended, four individuals were summarily deported.
Judge Cohn rendered his decision yesterday after hearing arguments from Attorney Nabih Ayad, calling for further review of the matter before deportations can be ordered for the remaining individuals in custody. The original judgment, halting the deportation of the victims, was rendered in response to a lawsuit that ADC Michigan filed on April 28, 2003. The lawsuit called for a thorough court review of each immigrant case before determining any action by the government. At that time, a temporary restraining order was entered by the US District Court because of “the uncertainty of the Court as to which persons are possibly subject to removal under the circumstances.”
Although Judge Cohn’s decision allows the immigrants access to fair proceedings, he did not grant them bond and ordered that they go through normal Immigration channels to request bond. “This is a ground-breaking case,” stated lead attorney Nabih Ayad. “Its impact is huge when you consider that millions of people get these advance parole documents every year. Now this Judge has ruled that the Justice Department cannot simply take these people after their documents have expired and subject them to expedited removal without a court hearing, or without an attorney. Once again, ADC has made its name synonymous with justice in our country.”
For more information please contact Attorney Nabih Ayad, the lead attorney handling this case, at 313-278-9700, or 313-350-8769.