United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
an inmate confined at FCI Fort Dix, in Fort Dix, New Jersey,
filed a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, purporting to
challenge his immigration detention. (See ECF No.
1). The Court has examined the Petition in accordance with
Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, applicable
to § 2241 cases through Rule 1(b). For the reasons
discussed below, the petition will be dismissed for lack of
is a native of Trinidad who entered the United States on
September 5, 1988. (See ECF No. 1 at p. 12). On July
5, 1991, Petitioner took the oath of allegiance, and on July
26, 1991 he received his certificate of citizenship.
(See ECF No. 1 at Ex. B).
a trial in the Eastern District of New York, Petitioner was
convicted of conspiring to import five or more kilograms of
cocaine, conspiring to possess with intent to distribute five
kilograms or more of cocaine, and conspiring to import and
conspiring to possess with intent to distribute fifty
kilograms or more of marijuana. See United States v.
Adams, 316 Fed.Appx. 60, 61-62 (2d Cir. 2009). On April
11, 2006, Petitioner was sentenced to 210 months
imprisonment. (See ECF No. 1 at p. 1). Petitioner is
currently serving his sentence at FCI Fort Dix. (See
about December 6, 2012, Petitioner received a notice of
intent to cancel his certificate of citizenship.
(See ECF No. 1 at p. 11). On January 29, 2013,
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
(“USCIS”) issued a final decision cancelling
Petitioner's certificate of citizenship. (See
ECF No. 1 at Ex. I). Petitioner filed an appeal to the
Administrative Appeals Office (“AAO”), which was
denied on August 28, 2015. (See ECF No. 1 at p. 11).
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration in September
2015, which Petitioner claims is still pending. (See
February 26, 2018, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging
USCIS's decision to cancel his certificate of
2241 of Title 28 of the United States Code permits a federal
court to grant a writ of habeas corpus to a prisoner who is
in custody in violation of the Constitution, laws, or
treaties of the United States. See 28 U.S.C. §
2241(c)(3). Section 2241 confers jurisdiction upon federal
courts to hear petitions challenging pre-removal immigration
detentions during the course of removal proceedings. See
Demore v. Kim, 538 U.S. 510, 517 (2003); Zadvydas v.
Davis, 533 U.S. 678, 687 (2001). However, a district
court has jurisdiction to hear a petition filed pursuant to
§ 2241 only if the petitioner is “in
custody.” James v. Dist. Attorney York Cnty.,
594 Fed.Appx. 66, 67 (3d Cir. 2015) (citing Maleng v.
Cook, 490 U.S. 488, 490 (1989); Verde-Rodriguez v.
Att'y Gen., 734 F.3d 198, 204 n.4 (3d Cir. 2013)). A
prisoner who is serving a federal criminal sentence is not
“in custody” for purposes of § 2241 merely
because an immigration detainer has been lodged against him
or her. Adams v. Apker, 148 Fed.Appx. 93, 95 (3d
though federal district courts have jurisdiction to hear
habeas challenges to immigration detentions, that
jurisdiction is strictly limited. The REAL ID ACT of 2005
“eliminated the availability of habeas corpus relief in
the district courts for aliens seeking to challenge orders of
removal.” Kolkevich v. Att'y Gen. of U.S.,
501 F.3d 323, 326 (3d Cir. 2007). Under the REAL ID Act, a
petition for review filed with an appropriate court of
appeals in accordance with the Act is the sole and exclusive
means for judicial review of an order of removal and matters
dependent thereon. 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(5).
Petition on its face reveals that Petitioner is not entitled
to habeas relief. First, Petitioner is currently confined
because he is serving a sentence of incarceration arising
from a federal criminal conviction. Even if an immigration
detainer has been lodged against him, Petitioner is not
“in custody” for purposes of § 2241. See
James, 594 F.Appx. at 67; Adams, 148 Fed.Appx.
at 95. Moreover, Petitioner asks this Court to reverse the
USCIS's decision cancelling his certificate of
citizenship and to remove the detainer placed on him.
Pursuant to the REAL ID Act, this Court does not have the
authority to grant such a request. For the foregoing reasons,
this Court does not have jurisdiction to consider the
reasons set forth above, the Court dismisses the Petition for
lack of ...