United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
Christopher C. Conner Chief Judge
Chris Makanjira (“petitioner”), presently a
detainee of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(“ICE”), incarcerated at the Pike County
Correctional Facility, Lords Valley, Pennsylvania, filed the
instant petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241 on August 25, 2017. (Doc. 1). For the
reasons set forth below, the court will dismiss the petition
a native and citizen of Tanzania, entered the United States
at an unknown place and unknown time, without permission or
parole by an immigration officer. (Doc. 8-1, at 2, Record of
Deportable/Inadmissible Alien). On August 30, 2016,
petitioner was convicted in the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania of conspiracy to
distribute heroin, and was sentenced to forty months of
imprisonment. (Id. at 2-3). On February 24, 2017,
petitioner was charged with being subject to removal pursuant
to § 237(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Immigration and
Nationality Act (“INA”) as an alien convicted of
an aggravated felony. (Doc. 8-1, at 5, Notice of Intent to
Issue a Final Administrative Removal Order).
March 27, 2017, petitioner was ordered removed to Tanzania
pursuant to § 237(a)(2)(A)(iii) of INA. (Doc. 8-1, at 8,
Final Administrative Removal Order). Petitioner requested
withholding or deferral of removal under the Convention
Against Torture, but subsequently withdrew his request. (Doc.
8-1, at 9, Withdrawal of Request for Reasonable Fear
16, 2017, ICE issued a decision to continue custody. (Doc.
8-1, at 10, Decision to Continue Detention). Therein,
petitioner was notified that ICE was working to obtain travel
documents and that he was to remain in ICE custody pending
removal from the United States. (Id.) He was further
notified that “[i]f you have not been released or
removed from the United Stated by September 23, 2017,
jurisdiction of the custody decision in you case will be
transferred to the Headquarters Post Order Unit (HQ POCRU) .
. . HQ POCRU will make a final determination regarding your
custody.” (Id. at 10-11).
August 25, 2017, petitioner filed the instant petition
requesting review of the lawfulness of his continued
detention. (Doc. 1).
release, and removal of aliens ordered removed is governed by
the provisions of 8 U.S.C. § 1231. Under § 1231(a),
the Attorney General has ninety days to remove an alien from
the United States after his order of removal, during which
time detention is mandatory. Section 1231(a)(1)(B) provides
the following: The removal period begins to run on the latest
of the following:
(i) The date the order of removal becomes administratively
(ii) If the removal order is judicially reviewed and if the
court orders a stay of the removal of the alien, the date of
the court's final order.
(iii) If the alien is detained or confined (except under an
immigration process), the date the alien is released from
detention or confinement.
8 U.S.C. § 1231. At the conclusion of the ninety-day
period, the alien may be held in continued detention, or may
be released under continued supervision. 8 U.S.C.
§§ 1231(a)(3) & (6). The statute “limits
an alien's post-removal-period detention to a period
reasonably necessary to bring about the alien's removal
from the United States. It does not permit indefinite
detention.” Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678,
689 (2001). “Once removal is no longer reasonably
foreseeable, continued detention is no longer authorized by
statute.” Id. at 699. To establish uniformity
in the federal courts, a period of six months was recognized
as a “presumptively reasonable period of
detention.” Id. at 701.
Zadvydas, regulations were promulgated to meet the criteria
established by the Supreme Court. See 8 C.F.R. § 241.4.
Prior to the expiration of the mandatory ninety-day removal
period, the district director shall conduct a custody review
for an alien where the alien's removal cannot be
accomplished during the prescribed period. 8 C.F.R. §
241.4(k)(1)(i). When release is denied pending the removal,
the district director may retain responsibility for custody
determinations for up to three months, or refer the alien to
the Headquarters Post Order Detention Unit
(“HQPDU”) for further custody review. 8 C.F.R.
§ 241.4(k)(1)(ii). Once jurisdiction is transferred, an
eligible alien may submit a written ...