SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and city council members are calling for the release of Iraqi refugee Omar Ameen from ICE custody.
A federal judge ordered Ameen be released from jail after serving two years for the alleged 2014 murder of a police officer in his hometown of Rawah, Iraq.
“Ameen was in Turkey, not Iraq, on the day of the murder,” Judge Edmund Brennan wrote in his ruling, saying the government’s case “does not establish probable cause.”
Despite that ruling, Ameen was arrested by ICE agents just as he was set to be freed.
Steinberg and members of the Sacramento City Council sent a letter to federal officials calling for Ameen’s release.
"We urge the immediate release of Mr. Ameen and an end to his deportation proceedings," the letter states. "Not only is there no basis for his continued detention or deportation, the false accusations against Mr. Ameen would place him in danger of wrongful execution were he returned to Iraq."
Ameen is currently being held at an ICE facility in Bakersfield, according to his lawyers, awaiting an immigration hearing on the same accusations he’d just been cleared of.
In an email, ICE spokesperson Gabriel Archer confirmed that Ameen was in the agency's custody, but declined to provide any further details.