Amish man cites freedom of religion


Thu, December 23, 2004

PITTSBURGH -- A Canadian Amish man will cite the First Amendment in his fight to stay in the United States without having to submit to the immigration photo that he maintains would violate his strict religious beliefs, his attorney says. Daniel Zehr of Kitchener, Ont., who is living in the Amish community in Clarion County with his American wife and family, is now considered to be legally on American soil, said Mark Knapp, an immigration attorney who is representing Zehr for free.

That means Zehr, 29, can make freedom of religion arguments not available to him eight months ago, when a judge threw out his federal lawsuit, Knapp said.

Zehr is a Canadian citizen and a member of an Old Order Amish sect that takes literally the Bible's prohibition of graven images, which is why he won't consent to the immigration photo.