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Ahmed v. Ashcroft

July 16, 2003

OMAR F. AHMED, PETITIONER
v.
JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, RESPONDENT



On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (No. A73-543-250)

Before: Sloviter, Ambro, Circuit Judges, and TUCKER*fn1, District Judge

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dolores K. Sloviter, Circuit Judge.

Motion to Publish Granted August 20, 2003.

OMAR F. AHMED, PETITIONER
v.
JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, RESPONDENT

On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (No. A73-543-250)

Before: Sloviter, Ambro, Circuit Judges, and TUCKER*fn1, District Judge

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dolores K. Sloviter, Circuit Judge.

PRECEDENTIAL

Submitted Under Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a) June 27, 2003

OPINION OF THE COURT

Petitioner Omar F. Ahmed, a stateless Palestinian born in Saudi Arabia, petitions for review of a July 26, 2002 order of the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA"), which affirmed an Immigration Judge's decision to deny Ahmed's applications for asylum and withholding of deportation. Ahmed contends that he is entitled to asylum as a refugee because he has a well-founded fear that, if returned to Saudi Arabia, he will be persecuted as a member of a particular social group under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(42), i.e., stateless Palestinians.

Because Ahmed was placed in deportation proceedings before April 1, 1997, and his final order of deportation was issued by the BIA after October 31, 1996, we have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1105a (1994), as amended by the transitional rules for judicial review in Section 309(c)(4) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-306, 3009-625 (Sept. 30, 1996) ("IIRIRA"). See also Sandoval v. Reno, 166 F.3d 225, 229 (3d Cir. 1999) (applying IIRIRA transitional rules of jurisdiction).

I.

Ahmed is a 37-year old native of Saudi Arabia of Palestinian descent. The Immigration and Naturalization Service ("INS") admitted him into the United States as a non-immigrant visitor for pleasure on January 31, 1995 with permission to remain in the country until June 30, 1996. He remained beyond that date without authorization and the INS brought this deportation proceeding against him on February 19, 1997. On August 26, 1997, Ahmed admitted that he had overstayed his visitor's visa and, in relief of deportation, sought review of his applications for asylum and withholding of deportation. An Immigration Judge ("IJ"), following a hearing on the merits of Ahmed's application for asylum, determined that Ahmed had not established past persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution ...


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