Immigration Case #1 to highlight M.M. – Application pending with USCIS for lawful permanent residence (green card) with request for a Waiver of Inadmissibility for Terrorism-related inadmissibility ground
Mr. M. is a 51-year old displaced Palestinian who was raised in Kuwait. He came to the U.S. 30 years ago in 1991 to pursue his university education. He successfully earned his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and then started his career in the Telecom industry. He and his wife have four U.S. citizen children. Mr. M. was having success in his career and also became very active in religious and civic organizations. He has been engaged at a very high level in more than 25 such organizations, including the Red Cross and Boy Scouts of America. His employer sponsored his application for permanent residency in 2007. USCIS scrutinized Mr. M.’s religious, civic and charitable affiliations before arbitrarily denying his green card application. USCIS claimed his support of a specific religious charity’s humanitarian efforts was actually support of a Tier III terrorist organization. This determination was based on the government’s discriminatory treatment of Mr. M.’s right to associate and to support his religious obligation for Zakat.
CLCMA has been working with Mr. M. for over four years. We prepared for the day when Mr. M.’s oldest son would turn 21 and be able to file a family-based Petition for Alien Relative for him, which came to fruition in June 2020. Along with the application for permanent residence, CLCMA challenged USCIS’s prior arbitrary determination through the submission of a legal brief explaining the misapplication of the law in Mr. M.’s case. This legal brief also requested the Department of Homeland Security waive the inadmissibility determination, which should never have been applied to his case. USCIS conducted its initial interview in July 2021, but was unable to make a final decision at that time.
CLCMA and Mr. M. are hopeful for a successful resolution at the administrative level, which would bring closure to a journey that has spanned three decades to make the U.S. his permanent home. However, CLCMA believes that Mr. M.’s case provides a valuable opportunity for impact litigation in federal court to challenge the government’s use of the Tier III designation to discriminate against Muslim applicants for immigration benefits should USCIS deny this application.