By Velena Jones

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Sacramento man once accused of being a terrorist is facing deportation back to Iraq.

Omar Ameen’s attorneys told CBS13 they decided to file a federal lawsuit because they do not trust Immigration Review to give their client a fair proceeding.

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“We are talking about life and death. This is his life,” explained Ameen’s attorney, Ilyce Shugall.

In a federal lawsuit filed Monday, Shugall argued her client should not still be detained. Ameen was previously accused of being part of an Islamic terror group and killing a police officer in Iraq.

“They have never charged him with a crime,” she explained.

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The refugee from Iraq was arrested in Sacramento in 2018 on terror charges that were eventually dropped, but he was never released. Federal agents later arrested Ameen claiming in part he lied on his refugee application. A judge previously ruled that meant he was eligible to be deported — a decision that is still being fought.

“If he is released from custody, that will make a huge difference,” explained Shugall. “It will allow us more time in his removal proceedings because non-detained [proceedings] don’t move quite as quickly as the detained proceedings.”

Shugall argues that while she believes her client is innocent on all fronts, if Ameen is deported, the claims against him will be a death sentence.

“It’s impossible for someone who is accused of these activities to get a fair trial in Iraq. His removal to Iraq would lead to torture and death,” Shugall said.

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Ameen’s attorney’s will be in Immigration court from Jan 31 to Feb 4 for their application for relief to fight extradition.

Velena Jones