This week's Rogues list includes U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, but not because he's politicized the Justice Department. No, Gonzales makes it along with William McNamee—district director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services—and other top feds for delaying the citizenship application of a transplanted Oregonian, Ahmed Musbah Elsadig.
For the past two years, the feds have put Elsadig in naturalization limbo, waiting to clear a "security check" that's supposed to take 120 days.
"If they're from the Middle East, or Muslim, or their middle name is Muhammad, they're in the backlog," says Elsadig's attorney, Philip Smith.
Before you ask whether the feds should be extra-cautious granting citizenship after 9/11, know that Elsadig has legally held a green card since coming to the U.S. in 1999. A 30-year-old citizen of Sudan and a professional economist, Elsadig has no criminal record. He has worked in the Oregon Employment Department, writing such dangerously wonkish tracts as "The Impact of NAFTA on Oregon's Agricultural Employment" and "Got Cheese?" about Tillamook's cheese industry.
"He can fit in and make friends in Hermiston and Beaverton," says Dave Nelson, who hired Elsadig to work at the department in 2003. Dallas Fridley, who co-wrote "Got Cheese?" with Elsadig, describes him as "one of the most likable people on the face of the earth."
Since Elsadig originally applied for citizenship in 2005, he's written six inquiries through his attorney about the delay. Each time, Immigration Services has replied that his "security checks are still pending," without further elaboration.
McNamee didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.
Elsadig filed a complaint against this week's Rogues on March 26, asking the U.S. District Court of Oregon to assume jurisdiction. "It's hurting him professionally," Smith says of the lag. "He's well educated, he's got a good job, and he pays taxes. He's entitled to be treated like everyone else."