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Judge says Omar Ameen can't be deported yet because he will likely be tortured

An immigration judge ruled Sacramento refugee, Omar Ameen's deportation is on hold because he would likely be tortured upon return to Iraq.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A judge ruled that Sacramento refugee, Omar Ameen, cannot be deported right now because he would likely be tortured.

Ameen has been held by the government for more than three years. Earlier this year, he was accused of terrorism and of the murder of an Iraq police officer, but those allegations were ultimately rejected by the courts.

“We are thrilled that the Immigration Judge found what we have been arguing all along — that the government does not have reliable evidence that Mr. Ameen has had any involvement in terrorism," said Ilyce Shugall, an attorney with Immigration Legal Defense and a member of Mr. Ameen’s legal team. "We are also glad that she made the right decision to grant him protection so that he can remain in the United States safely.  We will continue to pursue his immediate release from custody.”  

The Council on American-Islamic Relations wrote in a statement that there is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus seeking Ameen's release from custody scheduled for a hearing on April 13 in San Francisco.

CAIR said the government argued that while Ameen would likely be arrested upon deportation to Iraq, there was no proof he would be tortured. The immigration judge ultimately rejected this argument.

Siobhan Waldron, immigration attorney for Ameen, joined the call for Ameen’s release.

“The federal government’s baseless targeting of Mr. Ameen to pursue a political agenda in its War on Terror has always been unacceptable. The Immigration Judge’s findings make it clear that Mr. Ameen’s continued detention in the name of national security is unwarranted and unjustifiable," Waldron said. 

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