Muslim-American Palestinian rights activist granted U.S. citizenship after government loses motion for summary judgment to uphold citizenship denial
DALLAS (September 14, 2017) – On Monday, Osama Abuirshaid took the Oath of Citizenship and became a U.S. citizen after agents of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services erroneously denied his Application for Naturalization following 11 years of interviews and unfounded claims of making false statements in his application.
At issue in this case was USCIS’s allegation that Abuirshaid was affiliated with a group and failed to disclose that affiliation on his application for lawful permanent resident status, thereby misrepresenting a material fact. Although Abuirshaid was not a member of the group at that time, USCIS argued that his attendance at events by the group constituted an affiliation.
Attorneys from Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America and Virginia attorney Ashraf Nubani represented Abuirshaid and successfully defeated the government's motion for summary judgment to uphold the agency's citizenship denial.
After defeating the government's motion for summary judgment, but before the case had proceeded to trial, USCIS reopened Abuirshaid’s case, granted his application, and scheduled him to take his citizenship oath.
"There are no words that can reflect my appreciation for MLFA and CLCMA," Abuirshaid said. "America is blessed to have these organizations safeguarding American Muslims' constitutional rights."
Representatives from Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), a constitutional rights organization that funds Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America (CLCMA), said the victory in this case was stopping a dangerous expansion of the legal definition of affiliation.
"If prosecutors are allowed to expand what it means to be affiliated with a group, then everyone in America could eventually become a suspect of whatever the government deems disfavored at the moment," said Khalil Meek, executive director of MLFA. "We have to continue pushing back on dangerous expansions that threaten to legitimize guilt-by-association."
About Muslim Legal Fund of America
Muslim Legal Fund of America is a national nonprofit charity that funds projects to defend constitutional rights in America. Established in 2001, MLFA has defended freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to a fair trial, right to an attorney, due process of law and other constitutional rights.
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