US imam's deportation hearing focuses on disputed arrest

An immigration hearing for a popular Muslim leader resumed Monday with both sides focusing on a disputed arrest at the heart of his deportation case. Mohammad Qatanani, 44, is being denied US residency based on allegations that he failed to disclose a 1993 arrest and conviction in Israel on his green card application. Qatanani, a Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship, has been the imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County in Paterson, New Jersey, since 1996, the year he came to the United States on a work visa. He applied for permanent residency in 1999. The US government is now seeking to deport him, arguing that he did not list a prior arrest in Israel on his application - a disclosure that could disqualify him from getting a green card. The IDF says Qatanani admitted to being a Hamas member during interrogation in 1993 in Israel.