Omar Ameen is an Iraqi refugee who has been wrongly detained in the United States for almost four years. Read his story here and see below for ways to #FreeOmarAmeen.
Omar Ameen is a Sacramento community member and Iraqi refugee who had his life destroyed by the Trump administration. He was falsely accused of being an ISIS commander and spent nearly three years wrongly imprisoned in a federal detention facility, awaiting extradition to Iraq and a likely death penalty.
Against all odds, Omar had an enormous legal win on April 21, 2021. Judge Brennan found the defense “obliterated probable cause” and denied Omar’s extradition. Brennan said of the prosecution’s case: “this series of events is simply not plausible.”
Omar should have been freed that same night and reunited with his family. Instead, he was transferred into ICE custody for deportation proceedings. ICE has confirmed that it intends to try to send Omar back to Iraq through immigration proceedings, even though the Government lost in federal court. The Government has twice failed to prove its terrorism case against Omar in immigration court, including on March 23, 2022, when the Immigration Judge found the Government’s terrorism case had “substantial deficiencies” and ordered that he could not be removed to Iraq because of the likelihood of torture.
ICE has now indicated that it wants to waste more years of Omar’s life, and your taxpayer dollars to continue to go after Omar on grounds that have been rejected three times. And they want to keep Omar in custody the whole time.
Omar’s team has filed a federal habeas petition in the Northern District of California to secure his release and bring an end to this.
Omar’s fight is now as much political as it is legal. Below are three ways to help Omar today in just five minutes. Please help Omar return to his beautiful family in Sacramento.
1. Contact Your Congresspeople
Sample Script to Call Your Congressional Representatives
Hi [___], my name is [___], and I am calling to ask for the immediate release of Omar Ameen from ICE custody. He is an innocent man who has committed no crime and will likely be killed if deported.
In 2018, Omar was falsely accused of being a ISIS terrorist commander by the Trump Administration. In fact, former Secretary Pompeo cited Omar’s arrest to justify cutting the 2019 FY refugee resettlement quota to an unprecedented low. Meanwhile, the Government ignored and even suppressed overwhelming evidence of Ameen’s innocence.
After almost three years of Omar’s solitary confinement, the federal judge in Omar’s case found that Omar’s defense met the nearly impossible legal standard of “obliterating probable cause.” As Judge Brennan wrote of the prosecution’s case: “this series of events is simply not plausible.” He threw out the U.S. Government’s extradition request.
Ameen should have been freed that same afternoon and reunited with his family. Instead, he was transferred straight to ICE for deportation proceedings. He is still in prison. If he is sent back to Iraq, he will face the same fate as if he had been extradited: torture and murder.
Omar is an innocent man who has been wronged by the U.S. Government. The Biden administration has the opportunity to publicly repudiate this holdover of the Trump administration, rehabilitate the maligned US refugee resettlement program, and end this injustice. Please contact your local representative or senator and ask that they advocate with ICE on Omar’s behalf.
2. Contact ICE
Email ICE at [email protected] and cc us at [email protected]
Subject: Request to Release Innocent Iraqi Refugee Omar Ameen A#212-734-127
Hi, my name is [name] and I am from/live in [city/county]. I am writing to request the urgent release of Omar Ameen, A#212-734-127. Mr. Ameen is not a flight risk or a danger. He has the support of his Sacramento community for his release. The Mayor and City Council of Sacramento have asked ICE to release Omar to his wife and four children. Omar was exonerated in federal court in April of false charges of terrorism. He should have been returned to his family, instead ICE picked him up. He should not be separated from his wife, children, and community for a day longer. If released to the community, Omar will make all his immigration court appearances, because he wants to fight his deportation and clear his name so that he can stay in the United States. The Government has wasted enough taxpayer money on this case already.
3. Sign Omar’s Petition
Sign this Petition to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and others in the Biden Administration asking that Omar be released from custody and allowed to live with his family while he fights for his freedom.
4. Sign up to Join Our Campaign to #FreeOmarAmeen