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Destine v. Doll

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

July 26, 2018

SAUL DESTINE, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN DOLL, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM

          A. RICHARD CAPUTO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Presently before me is the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. 1) filed by Petitioner Saul Destine (“Petitioner”). For the reasons that follow, the petition will be granted insofar as Petitioner seeks an individualized bond hearing.

         I. Background

         Petitioner is a citizen and national of Haiti. (See Doc. 4, Ex. “1”, 3). On October 30, 2016, Petitioner applied for admission into the United States from Mexico via the Calexico Pedestrian Port of Entry. (See id. at 2-3). Petitioner was charged as inadmissible because he did not have valid entry documents. (See id. at 3).

         On or about December 29, 2016, immigration officials charged Petitioner with a violation of § 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(7)(A)(i)(I). (See id. at Ex. “2”, 1). That charge was sustained on February 1, 2017. (See id.).

         On June 20, 2017, the Immigration Judge denied Petitioner's applications for asylum and withholding of removal and ordered Petitioner removed from the United States. (See id. at Ex. “3”, 5). Petitioner reserved his appeal and on July 7, 2017, he filed an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”). (See id. at Ex. “4”, 1).

         On August 1, 2017, Petitioner filed for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (See Doc. 1, generally). Specifically, Petitioner contends that his continued detention is unconstitutional and that he should either be released or an individualized bond hearing should be ordered. (See Doc. 1, generally). The Government disputes that Petitioner is entitled to relief. (See Doc. 4, generally). The § 2241 petition is now ripe for disposition.

         II. Legal Standard

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c), habeas relief may be extended to a prisoner only when he “is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). A federal court has jurisdiction over such a petition if the petitioner is “in custody” and the custody is allegedly “in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3); Maleng v. Cook, 490 U.S. 488, 490, 109 S.Ct. 1923, 104 L.Ed.2d 540 (1989). As Petitioner is currently detained within this Court's jurisdiction, by a custodian within the Court's jurisdiction, and asserts that his continued detention violates due process, this Court has jurisdiction over his claims. Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7, 118 S.Ct. 978, 140 L.Ed.2d 43 (1998); Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court, 410 U.S. 484, 494-95, 500, 93 S.Ct. 1123, 35 L.Ed.2d 443 (1973); see also Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678, 699, 121 S.Ct. 2491, 150 L.Ed.2d 653 (2001).

         III. Discussion

         Petitioner is presently detained as an “arriving alien” pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b). See also 8 C.F.R. § 1.2 (“Arriving alien means an applicant for admission coming or attempting to come into the United States at a port-of-entry, or an alien seeking transit through the United States at a port-of-entry, . . .”). Section 1225(a)(1) provides that “[a]n alien present in the United States who has not been admitted or who arrives in the United States . . . shall be deemed for purposes of this chapter an applicant for admission.” 8 U.S.C. § 122(a)(1). The Supreme Court recently explained that “applicants for admission fall in to one of two categories, those covered by § 1225(b)(1) and those covered by § 1225(b)(2).” Jennings v. Rodriguez, ___U.S.___, 138 S.Ct. 830, 837, 200 L.Ed.2d 122 (2018). “Section 1225(b)(1) applies to aliens initially determined to be inadmissible due to fraud, misrepresentation, or lack of valid documentation. Section 1225(b)(1) also applies to certain other aliens designated by the Attorney General in his discretion. Section 1225(b)(2) is broader.

         It serves as a catchall provision that applies to all applicants for admission not covered by § 1225(b)(1) (with specific exceptions not relevant here).” Id. (internal citations omitted). The Jennings Court went on:

Both § 1225(b)(1) and § 1225(b)(2) authorize the detention of certain aliens. Aliens covered by § 1225(b)(1) are normally ordered removed “without further hearing or review” pursuant to an expedited removal process. § 1225(b)(1)(A)(i). But if a § 1225(b)(1) alien “indicates either an intention to apply for asylum . . . or a fear of persecution, ” then that alien is referred for an asylum interview. § 1225(b)(1)(A)(ii). If an immigration officer determines after that interview that the alien has a credible fear of persecution, “the alien shall be detained for further consideration of the application for asylum.” § 1225(b)(1)(B)(ii). Aliens who are instead covered by § 1225(b)(2) are detained pursuant to a different process. Those aliens ...

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