United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
the Court is Petitioner Samba Eric Kondeh Kamara's
petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241, challenging the constitutionality of his
prolonged detention by the United States Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), at the York County
Prison without a bond hearing (Doc. No. 1.) For the reasons
stated herein, Kamara's petition will be granted insofar
as he seeks an individualized bond hearing.
is a citizen and native of Sierra Leone who was admitted to
the United States as a lawful permanent resident on April 15,
2009. (Doc. No. 5 at 2.) Petitioner was convicted in the
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota on
April 20, 2016, of aiding and abetting in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 2, and bank fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1344, and was sentenced to ten months'
imprisonment. (Id.) Petitioner was issued a Notice
to Appear on July 19, 2016, charging him as removable
pursuant to Section 237(a)(2)(A)(i) of the Immigration and
Nationality Act (“INA”), due to his conviction of
a crime involving moral turpitude. (Id. at 3.) On
June 13, 2017, an immigration judge denied Petitioner's
applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and
protection under the Convention Against Torture
(“CAT”), and ordered Petitioner removed from the
United States to Sierra Leone. (Id.) There is a
pending appeal before the Board of Immigration Appeals
5, 2017, Kamara filed the instant petition for writ of habeas
corpus seeking release under supervision or an individualized
bond hearing, since he has been in the custody of ICE since
September 7, 2016. (Doc. No. 1.) The Court issued an Order on
July 11, 2017, directing Respondent to show cause as to why
relief should not be granted. (Doc. No. 3.) The Government
has responded to the petition (Doc. No. 5), conceding that
Petitioner is entitled to an individualized bond hearing
before an immigration judge due to the prolonged length of
his detention. See Chavez-Alvarez v. Warden York County
Prison, 783 F.3d 469 (3d Cir. 2015); Demore v.
Kim, 538 U.S. 510 (2003); Singh v. Sabol, No.
14-CV-1927, 2015 WL 3519075 (M.D. Pa. June 4, 2015). The time
to file a traverse has passed. Accordingly, the petition is
now ripe for disposition.
instant petition, Petitioner challenges the constitutionality
of his continued detention without a bond hearing prior to
the entry of a final order of removal. (Doc. No. 1.)
Petitioner's detention is authorized pursuant to 8 U.S.C.
§ 1226(c), which requires the Attorney General to
“take into custody any alien who . . . is deportable by
reason of having committed any offense covered in Section
1227(a)(2)(A)(ii), (A)(iii), (B), (C), or (D) of this
title.” 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c)(1)(B). Section 1226(c)
requires mandatory pre-removal detention without bond of
aliens convicted of certain enumerated offenses, including
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in
Diop v. ICE/Homeland Security, 656 F.3d 221 (3d Cir.
2011), and more recently in Chavez-Alvarez v. Warden
York County Prison, 783 F.3d 469, 475 (3d Cir.
2015), examined the constitutionality of prolonged detention
under Section 1226(c) pending a final order of removal. In
Diop, the Third Circuit recognized that Section
1226(c) “implicitly authorizes detention for a
reasonable amount of time, after which the authorities must
make an individualized inquiry into whether detention is
still necessary to fulfill the statute's purposes of
ensuring that an alien attends removal proceedings and that
his release will not pose a danger to the community, ”
and found that the petitioner's thirty-five month
detention pending a final order of removal was unreasonably
prolonged. 656 F.3d at 235. In Chavez-Alvarez, the
Third Circuit expounded on the reasonableness approach,
holding that in cases where a petitioner brings a good-faith
challenge to his removal from the United States:
[B]eginning sometime after the six-month timeframe . . ., and
certainly by the time [a petitioner] had been detained for
one year, the burdens to [the petitioner]'s liberties
outweigh  any justification for using presumptions to
detain him without bond to further the goals of the statute.
We conclude that the underlying goals of the statute would
not have been, and will not now be undermined by requiring
the Government to produce individualized evidence that [the
petitioner]'s continued detention was or is necessary.
783 F.3d at 478.
where a petitioner's detention extends beyond the
six-month to one-year time frame, the reviewing court should
order an individualized bond hearing to determine
“whether detention is still necessary to fulfill the
statute's purposes of ensuring that an alien attends
removal proceedings and that his release will not pose a
danger to the community.” Diop, 656 F.3d at
231; Chavez-Alvarez, 783 F.3d at 475. Moreover, at
the individualized bond hearing, the “Government bears
the burden of proving that continued detention is necessary
to fulfill the purposes of the detention statute.”
Diop, 656 F.3d at 233.
the above framework in mind, it is evident that Petitioner
has shown that he is entitled to an individualized bond
hearing. The Court has no reason to suspect that
Petitioner's legal challenge to this case is not
presented in good faith. See Chavez-Alvarez, 783
F.3d at 478. Also, Petitioner's prolonged mandatory
detention without a bond hearing is just shy of one year, at
which point mandatory detention is presumed excessive.
Id. at 478. Therefore, the Court concludes that
Petitioner is entitled to an individualized bond hearing
where the government will have the burden of demonstrating
that continued detention is necessary to fulfill the purposes
of Section 1226(c).
reasons set forth above, Petitioner Samba Eric Kondeh
Kamara's petition for writ of habeas corpus filed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. No. 1), will be
granted to the extent that Petitioner will be afforded an