Omar Ameen found guilty of lying on asylum application seeks asylum

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Will Sacramento refugee found guilty of lying on US entry application be deported to Iraq? On Monday, a Southern California immigration judge heard arguments for and against the issue. KCRA 3 Investigates has been covering the case against Omar Ameen since his arrest at his home in 2018. Ameen has been accused of being a terrorist and murdering an Iraqi. police officer. A federal judge in Sacramento found the case against Ameen to be full of holes and ordered his release from prison, but on the day of his release Ameen was taken into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. An immigration judge also cleared Ameen of terrorism and murder, but found he lied in his asylum application. Ameen is now applying for asylum. Hearings this week are to determine whether Ameen will get the relief he seeks to stay in the United States. Throughout the trial, Ameen and his lawyers repeatedly stated that he would be tortured and killed if returned to Iraq. To prove that point, Ameen’s defense team called Haider Ala Hamoudi, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh, to testify on Monday. research, he found that “large numbers of people have been convicted and sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit” in Iraq. The Department of Homeland Security worked to discredit Hamoudi’s research. After the hearing, Ameen’s lawyers held a joint press conference with the Council on American-Islamic Relations to talk about the challenges they faced during the hearings. During the virtual press conference, the attorneys announced they have filed a writ of habeas corpus. “The immigration judge is an employee of the Department of Justice. Because of her job, it is difficult to be a neutral arbiter, because the judge is employed by the same branch of the federal government that has been aggressive and without foundation, prosecuting Mr. Ameen for the past three years,” said Siobhan Waldron, Immigrant Legal Defense. KCRA 3 contacted DHS for comment on the case. Via email, a spokesperson replied: ‘We have no comment.’ In a continuing hearing on Tuesday, the immigration judge wanted to know more about claims by Ameen and his lawyer that he would be tortured and killed if he were deported to Iraq She asked Professor Hamoudi, if an arrest warrant is issued outside of Iraq, does that change the likelihood that someone could be tortured when arrested under the warrant. Briefly, Hamoudi replied that, in his experience, “there is an overreliance on forcing confessions” due to an “almost complete lack of forensic expertise”, and these forced confessions are “obtained by force”. The judge went on to ask if police and prison guards are known to physically abuse inmates while they await trial. Hamoudi said the information he has gathered from “independent observers and non-governmental organizations is consistent” and that this type of physical treatment is happening. After Tuesday’s hearing, Ameen’s attorneys, Siobhan Waldron and Ilyce Shugall, sent KCRA 3 the following statement: , Mr. Ameen encountered significant obstacles in presenting expert witness testimony on torture that he will suffer when he is sent back to Iraq. Today Prof Hamoudi was able to give evidence in detail and the Immigration Judge appeared to understand the risk of torture and death that Mr Ameen faces as a result of the allegations made against him. We will continue to present expert testimony on the torture he faces in Iraq when the hearing resumes on Thursday.

Will Sacramento refugee found guilty of lying on US entry application be deported to Iraq? On Monday, a Southern California immigration judge heard arguments for and against the issue.

KCRA 3 Investigates has been covering the case against Omar Ameen since his arrest at his home in 2018. Ameen has been accused of being a terrorist and the murder of an Iraqi policeman.

A federal judge in Sacramento found the case against Ameen to be full of holes and ordered his release from prison, but on the day of his release Ameen was taken into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. An immigration judge also cleared Ameen of terrorism and murder, but found he lied in his asylum application.

Ameen is now applying for asylum. Hearings this week are to determine whether Ameen will receive the relief he seeks to remain in the United States.

Throughout the trial, Ameen and his lawyers repeatedly stated that he would be tortured and killed if returned to Iraq. To prove this point, Ameen’s defense team brought in Haider Ala Hamoudilaw professor at the University of Pittsburgh, to testify Monday.

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Hamoudi’s biography says he has a background in Middle Eastern and Islamic law, testified on Monday that based on his research he found that “a large number of people have been convicted and sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit” in Iraq. The Department of Homeland Security worked to discredit Hamoudi’s research.

After the hearing, Ameen’s lawyers held a joint press conference with the Council on American-Islamic Relations to talk about the challenges they faced during the hearings.

During the virtual press conference, the lawyers announced that they had filed a writ of habeas corpus.

“The immigration judge is an employee of the Department of Justice. Due to her job, there are significant challenges in being a neutral arbiter, as the judge is employed by the same branch of the federal government that has been aggressive and baseless, suing Mr. Ameen for the past three years,” said Siobhan Waldron, Immigrant Legal Defense.

KCRA 3 has contacted DHS to comment on the matter. By e-mail, a spokesperson replied: “We have no comment”.

In a hearing that continued on Tuesday, the immigration judge wanted to know more about claims by Ameen and his attorney that he would be tortured and killed if deported to Iraq.

She asked Professor Hamoudi if an arrest warrant is issued outside of Iraq, does that change the likelihood that someone could be tortured when arrested under the warrant. Briefly, Hamoudi replied that, in his experience, “there is an over-reliance on forcing confessions” due to an “almost total lack of forensics”, and such forced confessions are “extracted by force “.

The judge went on to ask if police and prison guards were known to physically assault inmates while awaiting trial. Hamoudi said the information he has gathered from “independent observers and non-governmental organizations is consistent” and that this type of physical treatment is taking place.

After Tuesday’s hearing, Ameen’s lawyers, Siobhan Waldron and Ilyce Shugall, sent KCRA 3 the following statement:

“Yesterday, Mr. Ameen faced significant obstacles in giving expert testimony about the torture he will face while being deported to Iraq. Today, Professor Hamoudi was able to testify in detail and the immigration judge appeared to understand the risk of torture and death Mr. Ameen faces as a result of the allegations against him We will continue to present expert testimony on the torture he faces in Iraq when the hearing resumes on Thursday.

The Department of Homeland Security did not return KCRA 3 Brittany Johnson’s request for comment.

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