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September 21, 2017Detroit, MI, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

Former naturalized citizen deported to Jordan for withholding ties to deadly Israel bombing

DETROIT — A Jordanian national recently stripped of her U.S. citizenship, who was convicted in Israel for participating in a deadly terrorist bombing, was deported Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removals Operations (ERO). The removal marks the culmination of a multiyear probe by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 70, was ordered deported from the United States in August 2017, following a federal immigration fraud conviction, and order revoking United States citizenship. She was removed to Jordan via commercial flight under escort by Detroit-based ERO deportation officers. Upon arrival at the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan, she was turned over to Jordanian officials without incident. Odeh is barred for life from reentering the United States.

“Removing individuals who pose a threat to national security remains ICE’s highest enforcement priority,” said Rebecca Adducci, field office director for ERO Detroit.

Before immigrating to the United States, Odeh had been convicted overseas for her participation in two 1969 terrorist bombings in Israel, and for having been a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States. Specifically, she was convicted of placing two bombs at a supermarket that killed two individuals and of planting a bomb at the British Consulate in Jerusalem, as well as membership in an illegal organization. Odeh was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was released after serving more than 10 years in prison as part of a prisoner exchange with the PFLP.

Odeh obtained a United States immigrant visa in 1994 and had lived in the United States for the last 22 years. In 2004, she obtained United States citizenship. She unlawfully failed to disclose her arrest and convictions regarding the bombings in both her application for her visa and her separate application for United States citizenship.

According to the plea agreement signed by Odeh, she admitted that in those applications, she lied about her criminal history by falsely denying that she had ever been arrested, charged with a crime, convicted, or imprisoned. In her plea, Odeh also admitted that at the time she made the false statements, she knew the statements were false, and that “she made the false statements intentionally and not as a result of any mistake, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or any other psychological issue or condition”, as she had previously claimed in court proceedings, “or for any innocent reason”. Odeh also admitted that at the time she made the false statements, she knew that it was unlawful for her to provide false information to the United States government in connection with her application for Immigrant Visa and her application for naturalization. Had Odeh revealed the truth about her criminal history, as she was required to by law, she never would have been granted an immigrant visa, admitted to the United States, allowed to live here for the last 22 years, or granted United States Citizenship.