Las Vegas Sun

October 18, 2019

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After delays, former Iraqi translator is becoming US citizen

ORLANDO, Fla. — An Iraqi former translator for U.S. troops is finally becoming a U.S. citizen a year after officials abruptly removed him from a naturalization ceremony, prompting him to sue the government and charge it was targeting people from Muslim-majority countries.

Haeder Al Anbki is participating in a naturalization ceremony Tuesday in Orlando, Florida, along with 93 others.

The Iraqi native was at a June 2017 naturalization ceremony in Fort Benning, Georgia, for 20 immigrant recruits when he was stopped and told he wouldn't be participating. No explanation was given at the time.

Al Anbki claimed in his lawsuit that authorities were applying a different set of rules under a program that opponents say targets applicants from majority-Muslim countries.

He credited publicity about his situation for the government's reversal in his case.