From CBS-11 News, with thanks to RSH:
The Dallas-based office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has filed a highly unusual civil court motion to strip a wealthy North Texas businessman of his American citizenship and eventually deport him to his native Middle East.
CBS-11 News has learned that federal authorities have invoked a rarely-used federal statute – mainly used in past decades to deport former Nazis – to de-naturalize native Palestinian Rasmi Khader Almallah. The government’s “Complaint to Revoke Naturalization” claims Almallah paid a woman for a “sham marriage” in 1981 that helped him gain permanent residency and then American citizenship in 1988.
But sources tell CBS-11 the motive behind the government effort is Almallah’s long association with the Richardson-based Holy Land Foundation, which the Bush administration shuttered in 2001 and accused of clandestinely providing funds to help the designated terrorist group Hamas deploy suicide bombers against Israeli civilians.
Almallah, since remarried, the father of seven U.S.-born children, and the founding owner of the booming 50-store Carpet Mills of America chain, served as a board member of the Holy Land Foundation, according to a 2000 foundation tax return.
He has maintained close ties to top foundation officers who the government in July criminally indicted on charges that their fundraising work supported suicide bombings against Israeli citizens. Almallah also has served as an officer of the Islamic Association of Palestine, which has come under federal investigation for alleged – and vigorously disputed – terrorist ties.
But Almallah was not among the seven men indicted in Dallas this summer for their Holy Land Foundation fundraising work, and he has not been charged with any crime.