CLCMA Client Becomes U.S. Citizen After More than 17 Years of Trying

CLCMA is thrilled to announce that our client, Imam Sait Zekiri, took his oath and became a U.S. citizen recently. In his youth, Imam Sait witnessed political upheaval in his home country of Macedonia that ultimately resulted in his homeland ceasing to exist – divided into half a dozen separate countries along ethnic and historical lines. Undeterred by the breakup of his country, he continued his pursuit a life of spiritual devotion through religious education abroad. He met his now wife during his studies, and she applied for his U.S. immigration status based on their marriage. Eventually, he reached the step of the Department of State granting his immigrant visa and he moved to the United States with his growing family.

Unfortunately, the uncertainty of Imam Sait’s homeland seemed to follow him to the United States. The U.S. government subjected him to needless harassment, including additional security screenings when traveling and obstruction of his citizenship applications. At every turn, processes that should be equal and fair were instead arbitrary and biased. CLCMA accepted the task of challenging DHS’s shameless tactics, seen all too often by other members of the Muslim community.

“CLCMA could not have asked for a more deserving immigration impact litigation client than Imam Sait,” said Kathryn H. Brady, CLCMA Immigration Department Head. “The facts of his case clearly show the blatant injustices inherent in DHS’s administration of immigration policy. Again, and again the U.S. government continued to use the flimsiest of excuses to justify its discriminatory actions against him. CLCMA was able to use the federal court system to hold DHS accountable. I believe the whole community will benefit from the result of this litigation against DHS.”

“We are thrilled for our client and his family,” said Christina Jump, Civil Litigation Department Head for CLCMA. “Unfortunately, it took far too long and federal court litigation to get here, but we now celebrate that Sait Zekiri can today call himself a United States citizen.”

CLCMA’s Immigration and Civil Litigation Departments worked together for over four years, with the work of numerous attorneys, to achieve a favorable outcome in this case. In September 2020, more than two decades after Imam Sait came to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident, success came when USCIS administered his oath of allegiance. He can continue fulfilling his life’s work of devoted service while continuing to meet his community’s spiritual and physical needs – now, as one of this country’s newest U.S. citizens.

Imam Sait had this to say after finally reaching his goal of becoming a U.S. citizen, “All praise is due to Allah. Our Prophet said, ‘Those who are not thankful to people are not thankful to Allah.’ I greatly appreciate all of the hard and dedicate work done by CLCMA. They helped me finally get my citizenship after over 20 years of unjust hardship. I went through many lawyers until CLCMA was finally able to successfully get my case resolved, Alhamdulillah. I encourage all Muslims to support CLCMA in any way possible and to help in assisting oppressed Muslims all around America.”