Rep. Doug Lamborn is leading an effort in the House of Representatives to gather support for Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a founder of Hamas who converted to Christianity, became an anti-Hamas informer, and is now living in the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security, incredibly, is opposing his application for political asylum.
Yousef, himself once a member of Hamas, is not a jihadist. In fact, he’s quite the opposite, having had both a religious and a political conversion. He's now living in San Diego, but his stay in America could end shortly (he’s been here around three years). It all hinges on whether he’s granted political asylum by American officials. Right now, the Department of Homeland Security is against this designation, in part it seems, because the government agency has misread his remarkable tell-all memoir, Son of Hamas.
In the book, Yousef tells his story. He experienced a sort of epiphany, turning against Hamas and his family, to become a key informant for the Israeli intelligence agency the Shin Bet. The intelligence he provided allowed Israeli officials to prevent acts of terror, saving many innocent lives. The DHS interprets his book as proof that he has ties to terrorist organizations.
If Yousef were to be deported, and returned to the West Bank, there's little question that he would end up on a Hamas hit list.
Will the DHS come to its senses? Rep. Lamborn opposes the effort to deport this hero, and has gathered a group of congressmen to support Yousef. So far, signatories from the House include, Trent Franks, Cynthia Lummis, Bill Posey, Kenny Marchant, Rob Bishop, John Kline, and John Shadegg.
Here’s the full text of the letter, circulating Capitol Hill, addressed to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano:
Dear Madam Secretary,
We are troubled by what we understand to be the position of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) concerning the immigration status of Mr. Mosab Hassan Yousef. It is incumbent on DHS to take into account all evidence.
Mr. Yousef is currently scheduled for a U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office of Immigration Review hearing on June 30, 2010, which is expected to determine his request for asylum in the United States. To the extent that DHS officials or attorneys will be involved in this hearing or future hearings, we ask that full consideration be given to Mr. Yousef’s views and conduct in recent years, particularly his cooperation with Shin Bet at significant risk to his own safety and life.
We understand that Mr. Yousef’s Shin Bet handler will attest to Mr. Yousef’s courageous work to prevent acts of terror, as well as attest that Mr. Yousef harbors no loyalty to or affiliation with a foreign terrorist organization.
Additionally, Mr. Yousef’s conversion to Christianity and work with Israeli intelligence services would place Mr. Yousef in grave danger should he be forced to return to the Middle East. These important conditions must also be taken into consideration as Mr. Yousef’s immigration status is adjudicated.