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Man fears torture if he is deported to Israel

*Neyas – Palestine/Israel

“Neyas” is a Palestinian-Israeli man who fears torture if he is deported to Israel. He speaks English and is a U.S. lawful permanent resident (green card holder). He is married to a U.S. citizen, and they have four U.S. citizen children. He is eligible for protection under the Convention Against Torture. He may also be non-removable and therefore eligible for termination of his deportation proceedings.  

Neyas was born in Israel. He came to the U.S. in 2004 to escape violence and discrimination on account of his Palestinian identity. Two incidents in particular led him to flee. In the first, an Israeli border officer shot at his car, and one of the bullets struck him in his hip. Neyas says they shot at him after he followed their instructions and turned his car around to leave the checkpoint. In the second, Israel police arrested and interrogated him following a raid on his family’s factory that employed Palestinian workers. During the interrogation, an officer threw a liquid in his face that damaged his vision and required him to be hospitalized for two weeks.   

Neyas seeks deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture (DCAT). He fears torture from the Israeli government because of his religion and his Palestinian ethnicity/identity. He was involved in the Islamic Movement in the State of Israel and advocated for equality and coexistence of all races, religious groups, and ethnicities. He has publicly disagreed with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu’s policies and the War Cabinet’s actions. He fears that if he returns to Israel, he will be arrested and tortured for his demonstrations against their handling of the current armed conflict. 

Neyas may also be entitled to termination of his deportation proceedings if he can show that no crime for which he has been convicted is of the type (i.e., an aggravated felony) that would render a permanent resident deportable. Neyas has multiple criminal convictions that involve primarily theft and burglary in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Our staff have conducted preliminary research and analysis, and we recommend that a pro bono team representing Neyas further explore whether Neyas is non-removable and eligible for termination of his immigration proceedings. Even if he is removable, though, he is still eligible for DCAT, in which criminal history is not legally relevant. 

Additional Information

  • Location

    Detained in Farmville, VA.

  • Language

    Speaks English fluently as well as Arabic and Hebrew.

  • Timeline

    Next scheduling hearing is on July 24 in Annandale, VA.

Please contact our Managing Attorney for Pro Bono Coordination, Jennifer Grishkin, at jennifer@amicacenter.org if you are interested in taking this case.

*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy.

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