City leaders demand Omar Ameen be released from ICE custody

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento city leaders sent a loud message to the federal government that enough is enough after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detained a man that was being freed from the county main jail. 

“We need to stop this use of immigration to create fear in immigrant communities,” said Councilman Eric Guerra. 

Omar Ameen was accused of killing an Iraqi police officer on behalf of ISIS back in 2014, shortly before settling in California with his wife and children. 

The FBI swarmed his Sacramento County apartment in 2018 to detain him for the murder. He remained in the Sacramento County Main jail up until last month when a federal judge struck down Iraq’s request to extradite him. 

But as he stepped toward freedom, ICE agents swarmed in for reasons not justified, according to Mayor Darrell Steinberg and several council members. 

“Omar Ameen lived peacefully here and was detained by ICE. His kids are missing him and even after a federal judge cleared his name, immigration officials processed him for deportation,” Guerra said. “And that’s just a mockery of a justice system.”

Ameen now faces removal from the country over the same case that a federal judge said had too many holes. 

“There was very, very poor evidence that he was involved in any kind of crime in Iraq,” said Mark Reichel, an attorney. “So, as a result, he really spent three years in jail in solitary confinement, and this is a man who wasn’t found guilty of anything except for being in America and trying to better his life.”

And just the possibility of being returned to Iraq where he risks execution is why local officials are demanding he is released to Sacramento. 

“The sheer community support for our fellow Sacramentan is an example of what’s beautiful about our city,” Guerra said. 

Ameen’s lawyer says he’s currently being held in Bakersfield at an ICE facility until his immigration hearing June 16. 

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