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Rawahna v. Attorney General of United States

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

June 18, 2018

ABDULLAH-HAMAD AL RAWAHNA, Petitioner,
v.
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, et al., Respondents.

          Barrett, J.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Karen Litkovitz, United States Magistrate Judge.

         Petitioner, who is currently detained pursuant to a removal order issued by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (See Doc. 1). Respondents have filed an answer and motion to dismiss, to which petitioner has responded. (Doc. 8, 9, 10, 11). Also before the Court is petitioner's motion for bail pending resolution of this habeas corpus proceedings and motion to grant habeas corpus. (Doc. 7, 12).

         For the reasons stated below, the undersigned recommends that respondents' motion to dismiss be granted and the petition be dismissed without prejudice. It is also recommended that petitioner's remaining motions be denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner is a native and citizen of Jordan. (Doc. 9-1, Hinman Decl. at PageID 40). On July 18, 2014 an Immigration Judge ordered petitioner removed from the United States. (Id.), Petitioner appealed the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals. On December 19, 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed petitioner's appeal. (Id. at PageID 41).

         On or about August 8, 2017, ICE received a travel document from Jordan. (Id.). The document was valid until September 8, 2017. On or about August 18, 2017, petitioner was released from state custody and transferred into ICE custody pending his removal. (Id.). Petitioner was scheduled to be removed from the United States on September 5, 2017 on a commercial flight with an officer escort. However, petitioner refused the board the flight and has remained in ICE custody thereafter. (Id.).

         ICE issued a Notice of Failure to Comply on September 14, 2017. The notice informed petitioner that his removal period would be extended because he failed to comply with the removal order and acted to prevent his removal from the United States. (Id. at PageID 41-42). On or about September 21, 2017, petitioner notified ICE that he was willing to cooperate with his removal and applied to the Embassy of Jordan for a new travel document to be issued. (Id. at PageID 42).

         Petitioner was served with a Decision to Continue Detention on December 12, 2017, informing petitioner that he would not be released because "ICE is currently working with the government of Jordan to secure a travel document for your removal from the United States. A travel document is expected, therefore you are to remain in ICE custody at this time." (Id., Ex. 6 at PageID 59). A second Decision to Continue Detention was issued on March 13, 2018. The Decision again indicated that ICE is working to secure a travel document andli[a] travel document from the Government of Jordan is expected, therefore you are to remain in ICE custody at this time." (Id., Ex, 7 at PageID 61).

         Petitioner commenced the instant action on March 12, 2018. (See Doc. 1). Petitioner contends that he is entitled to relief because he has been detained for more than six months with no significant likelihood of actual removal, in violation of Zadvydas v. Davis, 553 U.S. 678 (2001). He also claims that his continued detention violates his federal due process rights.

         Respondents have filed a motion to dismiss the petition, arguing that petitioner has not met his burden to provide good reason to believe that there is no significant likelihood of removal in the reasonably foreseeable future. (Doc. 9). In support of the motion, respondents include the Declaration of Timothy D. Hinman, an ICE Deportation Officer familiar with the deportation proceedings against petitioner. (Doc. 9-1, Hinman Decl. at PageID 40). According to Hinman, there are no current impediments to removing aliens to Jordan, petitioner would have been removed but for his refusal to board the September 5, 2017 flight, and it is significantly likely that petitioner will be removed in the reasonably foreseeable future. (Id. at PageID 42-43).

         Petitioner has filed two letters and a motion to grant habeas corpus in response to respondents' motion to dismiss. (Doc. 10, 11, 12). In petitioner's letters, petitioner states that he did not board the September flight because he was informed that his wife "had a problem in Columbus." (Doc. 10 at PageID 63). He claims that he was ready to go two weeks later, but was told ICE no longer had travel documents for his removal. In his motion to grant habeas corpus, plaintiff asks the court to grant habeas relief because ICE has yet to obtain travel documents. (See Doc. 12).

         II. OPINION

         Congress has prescribed that once an alien has been ordered to be removed from the United States, "the Attorney General shall detain the alien" and "remove the alien from the United States within a period of 90 days." 8 U.S.C. §§ 1231(a)(1)(A) & 1231(a)(2). Title 8 ...


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