Immigration Law

Judge Who Overruled Feds' Nix on Naturalization App Will Personally Administer Citizenship Oath

In an unusual outright rejection of a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services decision about a naturalization petition, a federal judge in Alexandria, Va., last month said, in a 90-page opinion, that there was no basis to deny citizenship to Jamal Abusamhadaneh on character grounds.

Although the USCIS claimed Abusamhadaneh had objectionable ties to radical Islamic organizations, U.S. District Judge James Cacheris determined there was no basis for this conclusion, reports the Associated Press.

Now the judge is planning to administer the citizenship oath to Abusamhadaneh, a former information technology employee of the Fairfax County police department, in a Thursday ceremony at the courthouse.

Attorney Thomas Ragland, who represents Abusamhadaneh, said the USCIS overreacted to unsubstantiated claimed links between his client and controversial Islamic organizations and that once the claims were made Abusamhadaneh’s insistence that he had nothing to do with the groups was given no credence.

“There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what it means to be a Muslim in America,” said Ragland, who compared making mention of certain Islamic groups to “throwing a Molotov cocktail, verbally.”

A spokesman for the USCIS declined to comment.

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