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Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

July 11, 2003

Former President of Global Relief Foundation Loses Immigration Appeal and is Removed From the United States

Washington, DC – A July 11, 2003 order by the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to remove Rabih Sami Haddad from the United States. Last night, ICE agents removed Haddad from the country.

ICE agents apprehended Haddad, a Lebanese citizen who resided in the Detroit area, on December 14, 2001 for being in the United States illegally. Despite numerous appeals by Haddad, an Immigration Judge, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and ultimately, the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that Haddad was removable from the country.

Haddad was a co-founder and once the president of the Global Relief Foundation, an organization that has been designated by the U.S. Department of Treasury as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

"The removal of individuals like Mr. Haddad highlights the importance of enforcing immigration laws in our ongoing efforts to secure the homeland," said Michael J. Garcia, Acting Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). "This action is also a testament to the cooperation between law enforcement agencies in pursuing and removing those individuals linked to terrorism."

Haddad was admitted to the United States in Sept. 1998 as a non-immigrant visitor. He was authorized to remain in the country for a temporary period not to exceed August 31, 1999. On Dec. 14, 2001, federal agents raided the office of Global Relief Foundation. On the same day, ICE agents took Haddad into custody for being in the country illegally.

ICE attorneys successfully obtained a removal order for Haddad from a U.S. Immigration Judge in Detroit. This removal order was subsequently affirmed on appeal by the Board of Immigration Appeals. In arguing its case, ICE attorneys, with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice, presented evidence linking Haddad to terrorist activity.

Haddad’s requests for relief from removal, including requests for bond and for asylum, were denied by the Immigration Judge on multiple grounds. Specifically, the Immigration Judge found that Haddad was not eligible for asylum because he was a danger to the security of the United States.

The Immigration Judge found that a "plethora" of public information linked Haddad to terrorist activity. The Global Relief Foundation, of which Haddad once served as president, had been designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. The Immigration Judge also noted that Global Relief Foundation has links to Wadih el Hage, the former personal secretary of Osama bin Laden. El Hage has been convicted for his role in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

On July 11, 2003, the 6th Circuit dismissed as untimely Haddad’s petition to that Court to review his final order of removal. On July 14, 2003, ICE Detention and Removal officers moved forward to implement the final order of removal.