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Tuser E. v. Rodriguez

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

February 25, 2019

TUSER E., Petitioner,
v.
ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ, Respondent.

          OPINION

          John Michael Vazquez, United States District Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Petitioner Tuser E.[1] has submitted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging his prolonged immigration detention. (ECF No. 1.) For the reasons stated herein, the Court will grant his petition and order the immigration court to hold a bond hearing.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner is a native and citizen of Bangladesh. (See ECF No. 7-1 at PageID: 59.) Petitioner was previously admitted to the United States as a non-immigrant student on September 6, 2013.[2] Petitioner appears to have continuously remained in the United States from that time until July 9, 2017, when he left this country. (See id.) It is clear that Petitioner's legal authorization to remain in the United States was revoked, lapsed, or otherwise expired on or before July 9, 2017.[3](Id.) It is also clear that Petitioner's authorization was never thereafter reinstated, i.e., at no point after July 9, 2017 was Petitioner authorized to enter or remain in the United States.

         On July 25, 2017, approximately two weeks after Petitioner departed from this country on July 9, 2017, Petitioner returned to the United States on a flight which disembarked at John F. Kennedy International Airport (“JFK”). (See ECF No. 6 at PageID: 22.) Upon his arrival at JFK, Petitioner applied for re-admission to the United States. (Id.) Instead of being admitted, Petitioner was taken into custody by the United States Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”). Petitioner has been detained at the Elizabeth Detention Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey ever since.

         On July 31, 2017, DHS served Petitioner with a Notice to Appear informing him, among other things, that he was facing removal from the United States pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) as an immigrant who was not in possession of a valid entry document at the time he applied for admission on July 25, 2017, . (Id.) Between August 2017 and May 2018, Petitioner attended numerous hearings in immigration court concerning his removability. (See, generally, Burgus Decl., ECF No. 6 at PageID: 29-31.) At an October 12, 2017 hearing, Petitioner filed an application seeking relief from removal. (Id. at ¶ 8.) The immigration court originally scheduled a hearing on that application for November 9, 2017. (Id. at ¶¶ 8-18.) That hearing was adjourned and carried numerous times at that request of DHS, who consistently advised the immigration court that it needed additional time to obtain Petitioner's records and complete its investigation. (Id.) The immigration court also adjourned and continued the hearing several times sua sponte. (Id.) All told, the immigration court and DHS were responsible for five months of hearing adjournments between November 9, 2017 and May 22, 2018, when the immigration court completed all necessary proceedings related to Petitioner's application for relief from removal. (Id.)

         Thereafter, on or about July 9, 2018, the immigration court ordered Petitioner removed to Bangladesh. (See Aug. 23, 2018 Medina Decl. ¶ 7, ECF No. 6 at PageID: 27.) Petitioner has appended a portion of the Immigration Judge's (“IJ's”) written decision to his reply. (ECF No. 7-1 at PageID: 58-59.) The appended partial copy of the IJ's decision indicates that during an October 3, 2017 hearing, Petitioner acknowledged that he did not have a valid entry document when he applied for admission to the United States on July 25, 2017. (Id. at PageID: 59.) In other words, Petitioner conceded his removability to the immigration court. (Id.) In addition, the IJ found that Petitioner was not entitled to asylum or withholding of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act, nor was he entitled to protection under the Convention Against Torture. (Id.)

         Petitioner appealed the IJ's rulings to the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) on August 6, 2018. (See Medina Decl. ¶ 8, ECF No. 6 at PageID: 27.) Petitioner's appeal to the BIA remains pending. (See id.)

         On the same day Petitioner filed his BIA appeal, i.e., August 6, 2018, DHS notified Petitioner that he was being considered for release on parole. (ECF No. 7-2 at PageID: 124.) On or about August 31, 2018, DHS informed Petitioner that he would not be paroled. (Id. at PageID: 128.)

         Petitioner filed his habeas corpus petition on or about March 28, 2018 (hereinafter, the “§ 2241 Petition”). (ECF No. 1.) Respondent (hereinafter the “Government”) filed its answer to the § 2241 Petition on August 23, 2018. (ECF No. 6.) Petitioner filed a reply on or about September 19, 2018. (ECF No. 7.)

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         Habeas relief may be extended to an immigration detainee who “is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3); see also Maleng v. Cook, 490 U.S. 488, 490 (1989). The Court has jurisdiction in this habeas matter because: (i) Petitioner is currently detained within this Court's jurisdiction by a custodian within its jurisdiction; and (ii) Petitioner, by way of his § 2241 Petition, claims that his continued detention violates due process. See Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7 (1998); Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court, 410 U.S. 484, 494-95, 500 (1973); see also Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678, 699 (2001).

         IV. ...


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