The Board of Directors of Voces de la Frontera passed a resolution in solidarity with Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian-American activist, educator, and community organizer who is currently being tried by an immigration court through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for immigration fraud. DHS is seeking to strip her of her citizenship and deport her to the Israeli government.
Rasmea Odeh is being accused of immigration fraud from when she applied for citizenship 10 years ago. If found guilty, she could be stripped of her citizenship and deported to the Israeli government, which, at the age of 21, had arrested, tortured, and raped her into confessing for a crime she did not commit. Confessions under physical and sexual torture are not confessions at all, according to international law. The U.S. government alleges that Odeh failed to disclose this conviction by an Israeli military court, although Odeh and what happened to her is so well known that she has spoken in front of the UN about the torture she faced at the hands of her jailers.
As an organization that defends immigrant and refugee rights, we join other organizations around the country in condemning the U.S. government’s actions against an outstanding community leader and organizer for immigrant, Palestinian, and women’s rights in the Chicago area. As associate director of Arab American Action Network (AAAN) in Chicago since 2004, Rasmea Odeh runs a women’s empowerment program that serves more than 600 Arab immigrant women. In 2013, she was awarded the “Outstanding Community Leader Award” from the Chicago Cultural Alliance, indicating the breadth of support she has in the community.
Rasmea Odeh does not deserve to be stripped of her citizenship and deported to the country that committed such awful acts against her.
Voces de la Frontera calls on U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas, and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to stop the indictment of Rasmea Odeh and drop all federal charges.
For those in the Milwaukee area interested in learning more, there will be an informational forum at UW-Milwaukee this Tuesday, August 5th at 6:30PM. We also encourage our members to sign this petition calling for the dropping of all the charges against Rasmea Odeh.