United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
the Court is Petitioner Matthew Haynes Bryan'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 Department of Homeland Security,
Immigration, and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), at
the York County Prison without a bond hearing (Doc. No. 1.)
For the reasons stated herein, the petition will be granted
insofar as Petitioner seeks an individualized bond hearing.
is a citizen and native of Jamaica who entered the United
States at an unknown location and unknown time around 1999,
but was not then admitted or paroled at that time after
inspection by an immigration officer. (Doc. No. 7. at 2.)
Prior to that, on April 7, 1995, Petitioner was charged with
illegal entry when he was encountered at the JFK Airport in
New York. (Id.) On January 16, 2008, the Petitioner
was arrested by the Pennsylvania State Police for a violation
of the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.
(Doc. No. 7-1 at 4.) On January 24, 2008, immigration
officials issued a Notice to Appear, charging Petitioner as
removable under the Immigration and Nationality Act
immigration judge granted Petitioner's motion for bond on
March 4, 2008, and he was released from custody.
(Id.) On January 7, 2014, Petitioner's
immigration case was administratively closed. (Id.
at 3.) Then, on June 29, 2015, Petitioner was convicted of
aggravated assault and sentenced to 11 months and 15 days- to
23 months' confinement. (Id.) Removal
proceedings were held on February 9, 2016. (Id.)
Petitioner failed to appear for these proceedings and the
immigration judge ordered Petitioner removed in
absentia. (Id.) On August 16, 2015, ICE
detained Bryan in Philadelphia and on October 5, 2016,
Petitioner's immigration case was reopened, which negated
the February 9, 2016 removal order entered in
was also served with additional charges of
inadmissibility/deportability charging him as removable due
to his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude - an
aggravated felony. (Id.) On June 19, 2017, an
immigration judge affirmed two prior immigration judges'
findings of Petitioner's removal. (Id. at 4.) On
July 18, 2017, Petitioner filed a notice of appeal to the
Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”).
(Id.) His appeal is currently pending and Petitioner
is scheduled for a merits hearing on September 1, 2017, to
address his pending asylum application. (Id.)
3, 2017, Petitioner 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 August 16, 2016. (Doc. No. 1.) The Court issued
an Order on July 19, 2017, directing Respondent to show cause
as to why relief should not be granted. (Doc. No. 4.) The
Government has responded to the petition (Doc. No. 7),
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 petition is now ripe for disposition.
instant petition, Petitioner challenges the constitutionality
of his prolonged 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 Sec., 656 F.3d 221, 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 considered
by Demore, 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 his is entitlement 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 has exceeded 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 ...