Litigation Director Kevin Vodak wins citizenship case
By Mallory Widell, Communications Intern
CAIR-Chicago’s Litigation Director Kevin Vodak recently won a citizenship denial case for a Muslim American whose citizenship application had been denied by USCIS. The suit was originally filed in October 2011 in the Illinois Northern District Court in Chicago, Ill.
Atmane Bekri, the plaintiff, came to the United States from Morocco and originally applied for U.S. citizenship in 2006. Bekri’s citizenship application was denied and the court reversed this decision, finding that in fact he was eligible for naturalization, thereafter swearing him in as a U.S. citizen.
After his application was delayed for more than three years, Bekri decided to seek legal assistance and came to CAIR-Chicago. He chose CAIR-Chicago because he comes from a Muslim background and he knew about CAIR-Chicago’s focus on civil rights for Muslims in the United States.
Bekri initially met with Christina Abraham, the CAIR-Chicago Civil Rights Director, about the lack of response to his citizenship application. Abraham helped Bekri file a formal complaint in 2010 in an attempt to end the delay in granting him citizenship, but USCIS subsequently denied the application. Vodak helped resolve Bekri’s case in court, where the judge ruled in Bekri’s favor. Bekri was granted United States citizenship last week.
To date, CAIR-Chicago has resolved more than 120 citizenship delay cases! With your support, we can resolve many more. Please help us bring justice to more Chicagoans facing unfair delays by donating today!