By Tara Kavaler || The Arizona Republic
Abe Hamadeh is a Republican running for Arizona attorney general in the 2022 election.
Newly obtained court records show Republican attorney general nominee Abe Hamadeh’s father overstayed a visa by nearly seven years and was not in the country legally when the candidate was born.
The records shed further light on Hamadeh’s family situation. They also challenge the completeness of Hamadeh’s earlier response to an Arizona Republic question of why his father faced a deportation order in 1996.
Asked in August about that deportation order, Hamadeh declined an interview with reporters but gave a written response to The Republic that said in part, ” … my parents proudly came to the United States LEGALLY in 1989 and were rewarded for waiting in line LEGALLY with U.S. citizenship in 2007 and 2009.”
The response did not acknowledge that his father overstayed a visa, faced an order of deportation and cited his American-born children as a reason to be allowed to remain in the United States.
Hamadeh’s father, Jamal Hamadah, whose last name is spelled multiple ways in public records, came to the U.S. from Syria on a visitor’s visa on May 29, 1989, according to records obtained by The Republic.
More:Abe Hamadeh has made election security an issue in AG campaign. But he may have committed voter fraud
The visa expired about six months later, on Nov. 27 of that year. Abe Hamadeh was born in Illinois in May 1991.
In 1996, after coming under scrutiny in a criminal investigation in which charges were dropped, the federal government issued an order of deportation for Hamadah. He was granted a stay and also sought relief under a section of immigration law. That section was repealed the next year, according to longtime Phoenix immigration attorney Nicomedes Suriel.
As part of his filings with the court, Hamadah highlighted his family situation and that two of his children who were born in the U.S.
“If the petitioner were deported from the United States, not only he, but his immediate family would suffer irreparable harm and he would be separated from his family for (a) long period of time,” his filing with U.S. District Court in Illinois states.