(WFLA/AP) – A lawsuit has been filed against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on behalf of Hoda Muthana, the Alabama woman who left home to join ISIS in Syria, by the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America.
News Channel 8 received a copy of the lawsuit on Thursday.
According to a statement by CLCMA, the lawsuit seeks declaratory relief recognizing Muthana’s United States citizenship.
The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief requiring the US to “make good faith efforts to return her and her young son to the United States.”
“In Ms. Muthana’s words, she recognizes that she has “ruined” her own life, but she does not want to ruin the life of her young child,” the statement regarding the lawsuit reads.
Pompeo said on Wednesday that Muthana is not a US citizen and will not be allowed to return.
“She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport nor any visa to travel to the United States,” he said.
An attorney for the woman’s family, Hassan Shibly, who is based in the Tampa Bay area, said the administration’s position is based on a “complicated” interpretation of the law involving her father.
“They’re claiming her dad was a diplomat when she was born, which, in fact, he wasn’t,” Shibly told The Associated Press.
Muthana was born in 1994 in Hackensack, New Jersey, the lawyer said.
Most people born in the United States are accorded so-called birthright citizenship but there are exceptions.
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, a person born in the U.S. to a foreign diplomatic officer is not subject to U.S. law and is not automatically considered a U.S. citizen at birth.
Muthana, who dodged sniper fire and roadside bombs to escape, is ready to pay the penalty for her actions but wants freedom and safety for the son she had with one of two IS fighters she wed, he said. Both men were killed in combat.
In a handwritten letter released by Shibly, Muthana wrote that she made “a big mistake” by rejecting her family and friends in the United States to join the Islamic State.