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Immigrant Clinic Celebrates Precedent Setting Decision for Client

December 9, 2015

The faculty and students in the Immigrant and Non-Citizen Rights (INRC) clinic, who’ve been working at the intersection of constitutional rights and counterterrorism policies, had a precedent setting victory this week. One of their clients, an U.S. citizen with Yemeni roots whose passport had been unfairly revoked, received a judgement reinstating his passport. The decision may be the first of its kind in the nation, said INRC director Professor Ramzi Kassem.

“This is the only known case where a citizen challenging the revocation of his passport has prevailed at the administrative stage,” Kassem  said.

Last spring, Nabila Taj (’15), then a 3L student at CUNY Law, took the lead at the revocation hearing, arguing that the reason for revocation was a coerced, false statement. In May, the work of Prof. Kassem, Naz Ahmad and Taj on the cases of Yemeni-Americans was reported by The New York Times.

Taj participated in both INRC and the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility (CLEAR) project. After graduation, she has continued her work in immigration.  She now works at the Empire Justice Center,  as part of her two-year Immigrant Justice Corps fellowship.

Prof. Kassem said the client truly appreciated INRC’s work. “We interrupted our client’s workday at the bodega he runs in Brooklyn to pass on the good news,” Kassem said. “He was happy beyond words. He may have given out some free goodies to customers in celebration!”


Related Categories: Alumni, CLEAR, Faculty, General News, INRC, Spotlight, Student News

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