Immigrants’ Rights Clinic Wins Release of Client Held Under Patriot Act Without Charge For Over 17 Months

Federal Court Orders Release of U.S. Resident Unlawfully Detained by the Government Under Patriot Act

A federal court today ordered the release of Adham Hassoun, a long-time U.S. resident unlawfully detained by the Trump administration under a never-before-used provision of the USA Patriot Act.

In the decision ordering release, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford writes: “Distilled to its core, Respondent’s position is that he should be able to detain Petitioner indefinitely based on the executive branch’s say-so, and that decision is insulated from any meaningful review by the judiciary. The record in this case demonstrates firsthand the danger of adopting Respondent’s position. Respondent’s position cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.”

Hassoun was held illegally by the government for more than seventeen months without charge or trial.

"All I've wanted, like everyone else, is to be free and with my family again,” said Hassoun. “But the government at every turn tried to deny me the opportunity to prove my innocence. I’m grateful to the court for upholding the freedoms and constitutional guarantees that made me fall in love with this country 30 years ago."

Today’s order comes in response to a habeas challenge filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School, and the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center.

Read more at ACLU