On June 16, 2010, an Egyptian national, who had resided in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident for over 30 years, filed a petition in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and Department of Homeland Security, ...
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On June 16, 2010, an Egyptian national, who had resided in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident for over 30 years, filed a petition in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and Department of Homeland Security, under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The petitioner, represented by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, asked the court for a de novo review of his application for naturalization along with costs. Specifically, Mr. Hamdi claimed that the respondents violated the INA in concluding that he made a false statements about his association with a charity to which he made a donation in 2000 and which was identified as a financier of terrorism in 2002. He claimed that their conclusion was an abuse of discretion under the Administrative Procedure Act and that such a standard for "association" was so vague as to violate his 5th Amendment right to due process.
The litigation of this case and subsequent Freedom of Information Act requests brought to public knowledge the USCIS "Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program" (CARRP), an agency-wide policy for identifying, processing, and adjudicating immigration applications that raise "national security concerns".
Mr. Hamdi married an American citizen and made regular donations to charity pursuant to his sincere religious beliefs. In 2001 he applied for naturalization. In 2002 he passed his naturalization exam. In 2006 he was sent a notice scheduling him for a second interview, but due to a business trip he did not receive it until after the interview date had passed. His request to reschedule was ignored and his application was rejected. He reapplied in 2007, passed the test again in 2008, and in 2009 filed a mandamus action to compel USCIS to adjudicate his application. USCIS denied his application on the grounds that he gave false testimony by failing to reveal his association with Benevolence International Foundation (BIF) and his current employment (which had begun after his application and interview). He appealed and was denied again based on his "association" with BIF, inferred from his one donation in 2000. Having exhausted administrative remedies, he sought review from the District Court under the INA.
On December 14, 2011, the District Court for the Central District of California (Judge Virginia A. Phillips) dismissed the component of Mr. Hamdi's claim which argued that the naturalization application's "association" question is unconstitutionally vague. The court found that Mr. Hamdi requested no relief predicated on that question, and that the court could not offer an advisory opinion at that stage.
On February 25, 2012, the District Court (Judge Phillips) found that Mr. Hamdi had satisfied his burden of showing his eligibility for citizenship. He had not given intentionally false testimony to obtain benefits, and as such was not precluded form demonstrating good moral character. On February 28, 2012, the Court ordered that USCIS grant his application for naturalization.
On May 10, 2012, Mr. Hamdi was sworn in as an American Citizen.
On August 29, 2012, the Court ordered that the respondents pay Mr. Hamdi's attorneys' fees. Nadji Allan - 09/25/2014