SACRAMENTO, Calif — Omar Ameen will remain in ICE custody until at least the end of July after his hearing for contested removability was pushed back.
Ameen was an Iraq refugee and Uber driver living in the Sacramento suburb of Arden-Arcade when he was arrested at his apartment in 2018. He was accused of being an ISIS commander and wanted for the 2014 murder of a police officer in his hometown of Rawah, Iraq during an ISIS invasion, the Department of Justice said.
On April 21, 2021, a federal judge said he couldn't have done this. Rachelle Barbour, an attorney representing Ameen, said her team “obliterated” the US government’s extradition case against Ameen and accusations of terrorism and murder.
Despite the judge's order to release him, Ameen has been held at an ICE facility in Bakersfield. Ameen had a hearing scheduled on Thursday, May 13, but during it, his attorney said that they were served about 500 pages worth of documents from the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] on Wednesday, just a day before the hearing.
Ameen's lawyers asked for more time to review these documents since they said they would likely contest every claim and will be filing "hundreds of pages of documents" to counter what the DHS filed.
The DHS believes Ameen made false statements on his refugee application, which his attorneys say isn't true.
The judge in the case set a document submission deadline for both sides for June 29, 2021, including witness lists and both sides will also be given until July 20, 2021, to respond to any new documents.
The next hearing for Ameen has been scheduled for July 27, 2021. The judge blocked off the whole day and the next day, the 28th, in case they need more than a day to get through witnesses and to finish it.
Ameen's attorneys asked for the hearing to be expedited since he's been in custody for so long, but the judge denied that request.
"I wish we could do your hearing faster than July 27, 2021, but I need to work with the attorneys to make sure you have a fair hearing," the judge said directly to Ameen.
Ameen has been in custody for over 1,000 days.
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