Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pro-Peace Imam In NJ Threatened With Deportation For Not Revealing What He Might Not Have Even Known

The Bergen Record and The Associated Press have written news stories about Imam Muhammad Qatanani's fight to escape deportation in May 2008 before Judge Alberto Riefkohl in Newark, New Jersey Immigration Court.

The legal issue is whether USCIS and ICE can deny his green card application for not revealing of a conviction in Israeli military court of aiding Hamas militants. According to his lawyer, Claudia Slovinsky, the Israeli military court entered the conviction without him being present and he only found out about it years after he filed his green card application (in which he never mentioned the military court conviction).

As Ms. Slovinsky pointed out to one of the reporters, if he did not know about the military conviction when he filled out his application, he legally did not misrepresent his past -- he did not know at the time that what he was saying was not accurate.

Supporters have created a new organization Americans For Qatanani, collected almost 1,000 signatures on a petition, raised over $100,000 for his defense, and obtained a supporting letter from Congressman Pascrell about how he is a gentleman who has had a tremendous positive influence.


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