Rabbi Meir Kahane, stripped of his U.S. citizenship earlier this month because he is a member of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, was granted a "certificate of identity" yesterday by the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem.
That permits him to be considered for admission to the United States so he can contest his loss of citizenship.
Kahane plans to fly today from Israel to New York City. It is likely that he will be permitted to enter the country, according to Verne Jervis, a spokesman for the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
If Kahane is permitted to enter, his lawyer Charles Sims said, Sims plans to present the citizenship case later this month before the State Department's Board of Appellate Review in Washington.
If he is not permitted to enter, Sims said he will ask U.S. District Court Judge Leo Glasser in Brooklyn on Friday to issue a temporary stay of the citizenship decision. A stay would allow Kahane to enter the United States on his passport while his case is litigated.
Kahane, 42, was born in Brooklyn and moved to Israel 16 years ago. Founder of the militant Jewish Defense League, he won his Knesset seat on a platform of expelling Arabs from Israel and Israeli-held territories.
Kahane's suit claims that he is entitled to citizenship because he has not expressed a desire to relinquish it, as required by Supreme Court rulings. The State Department says Kahane expressed that desire by becoming a Knesset member, according to a "certificate of loss of nationality" the department mailed to him.