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Traore v. Gonzales

June 27, 2007

MORY TRAORE, PETITIONER,
v.
ALBERTO GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Katharine S. Hayden, U.S.D.J.

OPINION and ORDER

On December 5, 2006 petitioner Mory Traore ("Traore"), a native and citizen of the Republic of the Ivory Coast who is subject to a final order of removal, submitted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging his detention that began on September 22, 2004. Relying on Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001), Traore argues that his continued detention is unlawful because his removal is not likely to occur in the reasonably foreseeable future. Respondents filed an answer and opposition to the habeas petition on March 28, 2007, in which they argued that the petition must be denied for two reasons: (1) the long delay in deporting Traore was due primarily to Traore's refusal to cooperate in the effort to obtain travel documents for him; and (2) Traore was scheduled to be removed to the Ivory Coast on April 20, 2007. After being advised that Traore had not been removed on April 20, 2007 as scheduled, the Court issued an order requiring respondents to appear on June 27, 2007 and show cause why Traore's petition should not be granted.

Counsel for respondents appeared at the hearing along with Raymond Ortiz, a deportation officer in the office of the Detention and Removal Operations at the Newark, New Jersey field office of the Department of Homeland Security. The Court finds the following:

1. Traore was admitted to the United States as a visitor for pleasure on or about May 21, 1994. At the time of his entry, Traore was authorized to remain in the United States for six months.

2. Traore stayed beyond the authorized period.

3. Traore petitioned for asylum in 1998, but failed to appear for the asylum interview.

4. INS issued a notice to appear, charging Traore with overstaying his visa.

5. Traore complied with the notice to appear. Following a hearing, an immigration judge ("IJ") denied his petition for asylum and granted Traore a voluntary departure with an alternate order of removal to the Ivory Coast. Pursuant to the terms of the order, Traore was required to voluntarily depart by April 28, 2000.

6. Traore appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA"). On November 14, 2002, the BIA affirmed the IJ's decision. The BIA ordered Traore to voluntarily depart within 30 days.

7. Traore failed to voluntarily depart.

8. On September 22, 2004, Traore was detained while working at the Port of Elizabeth.

9. Traore has remained in custody since September 22, 2004.

10. Traore was scheduled to be removed to the Ivory Coast, through Casablanca, on April 20, 2007, but a terrorist attack in Casablanca on April 19, 2007 prevented respondents from removing Traore as planned.

11. Traore has been cooperating with respondents efforts to obtain documents necessary for him to travel to the ...


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