The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Rambo
Petitioner Junior Walton ("Walton"), presently a detainee of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"), incarcerated at the York County Prison in York, Pennsylvania, filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 on May 19, 2009. (Doc. 1.) Walton is challenging his continued detention pending his removal proceedings. For the reasons that follow, the petition will be denied.
On January 7, 1989, Walton, a native and citizen of Barbados, entered the United States as a B2 visitor with authorization to remain in the country for a temporary period. (Doc. 8-2, Ex. 2, Record of Deportable/Inadmissible Alien, 7.) Walton adjusted his status on February 13, 1989 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a CR6 Conditional Permanent Resident. (Id.) However, he failed to file the required joint petition with his spouse requesting the removal of the conditional status of his residence within the ninety days allowed after the second anniversary of the date his conditional residence was granted. (Id.) As a result, Walton's permanent resident status was terminated on February 14, 1991. (Id.)
On July 8, 1993, Walton was arrested in Philadelphia and charged with burglary, criminal trespass, and criminal conspiracy. (Id. at 8.) He was placed on accelerated rehabilitative disposition ("ARD") on the criminal trespass charge for one year, while the other charges were dismissed. (Id.)
On December 1, 2004, Walton was arrested in Philadelphia and charged with stalking and contempt for violation of a court order. (Id. at 9.) In November 2006, he was found guilty and sentenced to twelve months probation. (Id.)
On August 26, 2008, Walton was arrested in Philadelphia and charged with possessing an instrument of crime, recklessly endangering another person, and terroristic threats. (Id. at 9.) As of the date of this writing, these criminal charges are still pending. (Doc. 6 at 3 n.1.)
On August 27, 2008, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") charged Walton under section 237(a)(1)(D)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA"), 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(D)(i), as amended, informing him that he was subject to removal because his conditional permanent resident status had terminated because of his failure to file a petition to remove that status. (Doc. 8-2, Ex. 1, Notice to Appear, 3-5.) Walton was placed into ICE custody on August 28, 2008. (Id.)
On September 15, 2008, Walton requested a bond redetermination. (Doc. 8-2, Ex. 5, Memorandum to Office of Immigration Judge, 14.) On September 23, 2008, Walton was notified that a hearing on his removal proceedings had been rescheduled. (Doc. 8-2, Ex. 7, Notice of Hearing in Removal Proceedings, 16.) On October 6, 2008, DHS lodged the following additional charges against Walton:
Section 237(a)(2)(E)(i) of the [INA], as amended, in that you are an alien who at any time after admission is convicted of a crime of domestic violence, a crime of stalking, or a crime of child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment.
Section 237(a)(2)(E)(ii) of the [INA], as amended, in that you are an alien who at any time after entry has been enjoined under a protection order and has been determined to have engaged in conduct in violation of that order that involves protection against credible threats of violence, repeated harassment, or bodily injury to the person or persons for whom the protection order was issued. (Doc. 8-2, Ex. 6, Additional Charges of Inadmissibility/Deportability, 15.) In support of these charges, the following allegations were made:
On November 28, 2006, you were convicted in the Municipal Court of Philadelphia County, under Docket Number 1147101-2004, of Contempt for Violation of an Order or Agreement in violation of 23 Pa. C.S.A. § 6114(a) of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.
On November 28, 2006, you were convicted in the Municipal Court of Philadelphia County, under Docket Number 1147101-2004 of Stalking in violation of 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 2709.1(a)(1) of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. (Id.)
On November 25, 2008, Walton requested release on bond from ICE custody. (Doc. 8-2, Ex. 4, Decision and Order dated March 11, 2009, 12-13.) On January 7, 2009, an immigration judge ("IJ") issued a memorandum finding that Walton should continue to be detained in the custody of ICE without bond because he presents a threat to the community and a significant flight risk. (Doc. 8-2, Ex. 8, Bond Redetermination Memorandum, 17-19.) Walton appealed that decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA"). (Doc. 8-2, Ex. 9, Decision of BIA on Appeal of Bond Proceedings, 20.) On February 20, 2009, the BIA issued a decision remanding the record for further proceedings ...