Judge James B. Moran ordered the U.S. Attorney General to allow Dr.Sabri Samirah to return to the United States to defend himself in court or resume the process to obtain a green card, which he had applied for before being barred from the country in 2003. The court found that the U.S. government had denied Dr. Samirah fundamental rights to due process.
Dr. Samirah was a prominent Muslim community leader who led an organization that engaged in voter registration and community education. While his application for residency was pending, he obtained permission to travel abroad to visit his ailing mother. While Samirah was outside the country, the government revoked his travel permit based upon the unexplained statement that he was a "security risk." The government refused to permit Samirah to return to the United States or to contest his exclusion. Dr. Samirah was forced to return to his native Jordan, leaving behind his wife and children in the United States The National Immigrant Justice Center argued that he had a statutory and constitutional right to respond to any allegations against him before an impartial magistrate.
"The government cannot bypass the mandatory step of a removal hearing by granting plaintiff advance parole, revoking that parole while the plaintiff is outside of the United States, and then refusing to allow him to return to the United States," Judge Moran wrote in the court decision.
Barring any government appeal, Dr. Samirah is free to return to the United States.
Dr. Samirah is represented by Mark A. Flessner of Sonnenschein, Nath, and Rosenthal, and Charles Roth of the National Immigrant Justice Center.