West Bloomfield Iraqi man becomes US citizen after long deportation battle

Case of Sam Hamama garnered national attention

Oakland County resident Sam Hamama after becoming a US citizen.
Oakland County resident Sam Hamama after becoming a US citizen. (ACLU of Michigan)

DETROIT – After a long and hard fought deportation battle West Bloomfield resident Sam Hamama became a US citizen on Friday.

Hamama’s story made local and national headlines over the last few years. He was one of many Detroit area Iraqis who were detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in the summer of 2017 as part of the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

The Chaldean American businessman moved to the United States from Iraq at the age of 11.

When the deportations of Iraqi nationals started the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan fought in defense of those who were detained including Hamama.

In 2017 the ACLU sued Immigration and Customs Enforcement on behalf of Iraqi residents and their families in the US.

In the class-action lawsuit, Hamama v. Adducci, the civil rights group argued that “if returned to Iraq, these people face persecution, torture or death, and that it is illegal to deport the detainees without giving them an opportunity to present their claims to an immigration judge.”

While announcing the news on Twitter of Hamama becoming a citizen the ACLU wrote, “More than three years ago, the Trump administration rounded up Iraqis who had lived in the US for years, trying to deport them without a day in court. Sam Hamama and others like him fought back. After a long legal battle, Sam is here to stay as a US citizen!”

Hamama’s wife and children were at the forefront of the fight. On Friday they witnessed him being sworn in as a US citizen at the Detroit based Department of Homeland Security immigration offices.

Previous coverage on deportations of Iraqi nationals


About the Author:

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.