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Trump unfairly jailed him for murder. Biden still holds it.
On Thursday morning, Omar Ameen appeared, dressed in a red jumpsuit and via remote video, at an initial removal hearing to face some of the most serious charges a potential deportee can face. . The Department of Homeland Security maintains that Ameen, an Uber driver and father of four, is in fact a leading member of a feared ISIS strike team, and that he murdered a policeman in his office. Native Iraq before lying about his refugee claim about his terrorist. The fact that each of those charges was cleared by a federal court last month is, at least for the Department of Homeland Security, of no consequence. the latest episode in a three-year saga of a man who sought freedom and security in the West, only to fall victim to what his legal team calls an attempted cadre work by a crooked Iraqi militia leader with a ancestral grudge and financial incitement to lie – and the Trump administration’s burning desire to justify ending the national refugee program for good. Now, years after being first arrested on false charges, the man The 47-year-old is still being held as part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Police custody on the same counts, facing deportation to a country where his main accuser has sworn to have him executed. “There is just a level of insanity on the part of the government in this matter which is just remarkable considering that they have pursued a lie and do not seem to recognize it,” said Rachelle Barbour, Federal Defender for Ameen. in his now dismissed extradition case. Barbour compared the ICE’s decision to detain Ameen to ‘Trumpian’, part of an institutional legacy of hostility to due process in the immigration system that she hoped would end with the administration. Biden. all this land? As if they hadn’t learned anything? Said Barbour. “I understood that perfectly under Trump. But how do we do this again? Are they not ashamed of themselves? Ameen grew up, like his parents and grandparents before him, in the village of Rawah, in northwestern Iraq. Even before the American invasion and the civil war that followed, Rawah was a place where grudges lasted for generations, and the association of guilt by blood could be enough to threaten your life. Ameen’s own father had been assassinated by al-Qaeda and his brother had been kidnapped by a Shiite militia, according to his refugee claim. Fearing more and more threats from the enemies of an Al Qaeda affiliated cousin, Ameen left Iraq in 2012, first entered Turkey on a tourist visa, and then began the process. claim for refugee status for himself, his wife Khansaa and his three young children. Ameen’s application, which like all potential refugees included a thorough background check, was finally approved, and in November 2014 her family was resettled in the United States – five out of 69,975 people admitted that year. . place of their initial resettlement, in Sacramento, joining a growing Iraqi diaspora in northern California. Ameen became an Uber driver and part-time mechanic, and he and Khansaa had a fourth child as they both sought green cards to gain permanent resident status in the United States, but on August 15, 2018, their lives was upset. Dozens of FBI agents stormed the family home and Ameen was arrested for murdering Ihsan Jasim, a former Iraqi policeman, in his hometown of Rawah. The Iraqi government was seeking Ameen’s extradition to try him for murder, a crime witnessed by the victim’s nephew, known in court documents only as “person five.” Person Five, according to DOJ documents reviewed by The Daily Beast, alleged Ameen was a Tom Clancy-style terrorist mastermind: a member of Al Qaeda in Iraq, a close friend of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the commander of a strike team that terrorized Rawah for months. After the outrage The allegations were apparently ludicrous, not least because Ameen and her family were living in Turkey at the time the murder was allegedly committed. Although foolproof alibis put him in another country, the fifth person claimed that Ameen had in fact left Turkey in the middle of his refugee claim process. Ameen would then have traversed 600 miles of war-torn Syria and the deserts of Al Anbar, climbing the ranks of an ISIS militia without being spotted by the inhabitants of a village he had lived in since birth, assassinated Ihsan Jasim, then returned to the Turkish coast just in time to be resettled in the United States, but character five’s accusations did not exist in a vacuum. The teenager, who suffered from a self-proclaimed “psychological condition,” which he discussed with FBI agents in Iraq, lived at the home of Colonel Abd al-Jabbar Barzan, a leader of a local militia who accepted payments in cash. exchange of the provision of evidence. against suspected terrorists – and whose family had competed with Ameen for decades over an alleged dispute that led to Barzan’s family being expelled from the community. At the time of his arrest, Ameen had no idea which the evidence against him was specious – that his accusers were blatantly twisted, vengeful, or simply manipulated, and that gullible American investigators had taken blatantly flawed evidence at face value. All he knew was that the supposed murder had taken place when he was two countries away. Amen was so convinced the charges were a mistake that he didn’t even say goodbye to his family until he was taken into custody. or kiss them since, ”said Barbour. Ameen’s arrest made headlines around the world, aided by press releases from the Trump-era Justice Department that passed him off as a border supervillain shot dead by government departments. Justice, State and Fatherland. Security. The notion of a wanted murderer and an IS terrorist falling through the cracks of the refugee admissions process has added legitimacy to Trump’s long-held view of allowing refugees – especially of Muslims – in the United States was tantamount to welcoming a Trojan horse into the country. Arresting Ameen, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the government was lowering the ceiling for refugees allowed to enter the country by one third, to 30,000 people – a move Pompeo directly linked to the arrest of Ameen. The system previously in place was flawed, ”Pompeo said in September 2018.“ It allowed a foreign national to pass, who was later discovered to be a member of ISIS, as well as other people with criminal history. The American people must have complete confidence that everyone who is permitted to be resettled in our country is being carefully vetted. Security checks take time, but they are essential. However, Ameen’s public defense team did not take long to carry out their own security checks. But despite the obvious shortcomings in the record of Ameen’s extradition to Iraq – where Barzan had sworn to try him for murder himself – the standards for his release were higher than a conventional criminal trial. It would not be enough to demonstrate a reasonable doubt: Ameen’s legal team would have to legally erase (the actual legal term) the government’s case. “We had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he did not commit this crime,” Barbour said. “You have to erase the probable cause, and hardly anyone has ever been found to erase the probable cause. And we did. It took more than two years – and aggressive media coverage of the supposed evidence behind his arrest, led by the New Yorker – but Ameen’s team were able to obtain cell phone tapes showing he was in Turkey. Jasim moment. murder. In his order denying extradition, Judge Edmund F. Brennan, chief justice of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, called the defense evidence “decisive on the most salient point. : Ameen was in Turkey, not Iraq, that day. of murder. “Unless there are outstanding internal charges on which the government can justify Ameen’s continued detention, it is ordered that Omar Abdulsatar Ameen be immediately released from detention,” Brennan wrote on April 21. . The court was not informed of any such pending charges. But unbeknownst to Brennan, ICE had filed a “notice of appearance” on the day of Ameen’s arrest in 2018, accusing him of visa fraud for “having deliberately misrepresented an important fact.” in his refugee claim, that is, he had never been affiliated with a terrorist group or committed a crime abroad. This case was effectively frozen during Ameen’s extradition proceedings, but was not frozen when Brennan sought to free him.Now Ameen must either fight the same charges he just beaten up, or be deported. to Iraq, where his legal team fears he is almost certain to be dead. In a statement, the ICE simply said that Ameen had been charged “on the basis of misrepresentation on admission applications” and that he was “being held by the ICE pending trial. remoteness ”. The government, and Ameen’s legal team will “vehemently challenge anything that has been submitted” by the Department of Homeland Security against him, as Siobhan Waldron, Ameen’s immigration attorney, has said. declared Thursday to the immigration judge. a traffic court, ”as the head of the Immigration Judges’ Union once said – can take months. Ameen’s next hearing will not take place until the end of July, almost three years to the day since his arrest on false charges. “It looks like bribery, all the way,” Barbour said, “and I’m sorry to say it. Because I was really hoping for more from this administration.” For more, check out The Daily Beast. our best articles in your inbox every day. Sign up now! Beast Daily Membership: Beast Inside delves into the stories that matter to you. Learn more.