GAZOR v. RODRIGUEZ
OPINION. Signed by Judge Kevin McNulty on 03/09/2017. (ek)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
LARABU IBRAHIM GAZOR,
Civ. No. 16-8707 (1(M)
KEVIN MCNULTY, U.S.D.J.
The petitioner, Larabu Ibrahim Gazor, is an immigration detainee currently lodged at the
Elizabeth Detention Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He is proceeding pro se with a petition for
writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241. For the following reasons, respondent’s
motion to dismiss the habeas petition will be granted and the habeas petition will be dismissed
Mr. Ibrahim Gazor is a native and citizen of Ghana. He sought admission into the United
States on September 13, 2015 at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in California without valid
documents for entry. He was transferred to immigration detention on September 21, 2015.
On August 9, 2016, Mr. Ibrahim Gazor was ordered removed to Ghana by an
Immigration Judge (“IJ”). Mr. Ibrahim Gazor then filed an appeal of that removal order to the
Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”). On January 27, 2017, the BIA dismissed Mr. Ibrahim
Gazor’s appeal of the Ti removal order.
As Mr. Ibrahim Gazor was proceeding with his immigration proceedings, he filed this
federal habeas petition in November, 2016. He requests his immediate release from immigration
detention or, alternatively, that a bond hearing take place before an IJ. The respondent filed a
motion to dismiss the habeas petition on February 6, 2017. Mr. Ibrahirn Gazor did not file a reply
within the time allotted.
Respondent states that Mr. Ibrahim Gazor is no longer in pre-removal immigration
detention; because the BIA has now dismissed his appeal, his order of removal is final, and he is
now in post-removal status. Respondent argues that Mr. Ibrahim Gazor’s detention is legal under
the relevant post-removal immigration detention authority.
A. Pre-rernoval Immigration Detention
Mr. Ibrahim Gazor seeks his release from immigration detention or that this Court order a
bond hearing because of the length of time he has been in immigration detention. The Attorney
General has the authority to detain aliens in removal proceedings before the issuance of a final
order of removal. This period of detention is known as the “pre-removal” period. Detention of an
alien in the pre-removal period is governed by Section 1226 of Title 8 of the United States Code.
Section 1226(a) permits the Attorney General to detain or release an alien pending a decision on
whether the alien is to be removed from the United States:
On a warrant issued by the Attorney General, an alien may be
arrested and detained pending a decision on whether the alien is to
be removed from the United States. Except as provided in
subsection (c) of this section and pending such decision, the
(1) may continue to detain the arrested alien; and
(2) may release the alien on—
(A) bond of at least $1,500 with security approved by, and
containing conditions prescribed by, the Attorney General;
(B) conditional parole;
1226(a). “Except as provided in subsection (c)” is included because, under Section
1226(c), certain criminal aliens are subject to mandatory pre-removal detention:
The Attorney General shall take into custody any alien who—
(A) is inadmissible by reason of having committed any offense
covered in section 11 82(a)(2) of this title,
(B) 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
(C) is deportable under section 1227(a)(2)(A)(i) of this title on the
basis of an offense for which the alien has been sentence to a term
of imprisonment of at least 1 year, or
(D) is inadmissible under section 1 182(a)(3)(B) of this title or
deportable under section 1 227(a)(4)(B) of this title,
when the alien is released, without regard to whether the alien is
release on parole, supervised release, or probation, and without
regard to whether the alien may be arrested or imprisoned again for
the same offense.
In Diop v. ICE/Homeland Sec., 656 F.3d 221 (3d Cir. 2011), the United States Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit established a framework for analyzing the permissibility of pre
[Title 8, United States Code, Section] 1226(c) contains an implicit
limitation on reasonableness: the statute authorizes only mandatory
detention that is reasonable in length. After that, § 1226(c) yields
to the constitutional requirement that there be a further,
individualized, inquiry into whether continued detention is
necessary to carry out the statute’s purpose.... Should the length of
[an alien’s] detention become unreasonable, the Government must
justify its continued authority to detain him at a hearing at which it
bears the burden of proof.
656 F.3d at 235. Diop did not state a specific length of pre-removal-order detention beyond
which a petitioner would be entitled to a bond hearing. See id. at 234; see also Carter v. Aviles,
No. 13—3607, 2014 WL 348257, at *3 (D.N.J. Jan. 30, 2014) (“[Tjhe Third Circuit has not set a
‘universal point’ when mandatory detention under
1226(c) is unreasonable.”) (citing Leslie v.
Attorney Gen., 678 F.3d 265, 270—71 (3d Cir.2012)); Barcelona v. Napolitano, No. 12—7494,
2013 WL 6188478, at *1 (D.N.J. Nov. 26, 2013) (“The Court of Appeals in Diop declined to
adopt a rule that a hearing was required after a certain fixed amount of time in pre-removal
detention.”) (citation omitted). Instead, the Third Circuit noted that “[rjeasonableness, by its very
nature, is a fact-dependent inquiry requiring an assessment of all of the circumstances of a
particular case.” Diop, 656 F.3d at 234. A reasonableness determination “must take into account
a given individual detainee’s need for more or less time, as well as the exigencies of a particular
case.” Id. However, “the constitutional case for continued detention without inquiry into its
necessity becomes more and more suspect as detention continues past [certain] thresholds.”
Chavez—Alvarez v. Warden York Cnty. Prison, 783 F.3d 469, 474 (3d Cir. 2015) (quoting Diop,
656 F.3d at 232, 234). Indeed, in Chavez—Alvarez, the Third Circuit noted with respect to the
circumstances of that particular case that sometime after six months, and certainly within a year,
the burden to the petitioner’s liberties would outweigh any justification to detain the petitioner
without a bond hearing. See id. at 478. A petitioner’s bad faith, too, has at least the potential to
influence the determination of whether a bond hearing should be ordered. See Chavez-Alvarez,
783 F.3d at 476 (“Because we conclude that Chavez-Alvarez did not act in bad faith, we do not
need to decide here whether an alien’s delay tactics should preclude a bond hearing.”).
Respondent argues that Mr. Ibrahim Gazor is not entitled to relief under Diop/Chavez
Alvarez because he was being held in detention pursuant to 8 U.S.C.
inadmissible arriving alien, not under
1225(b) as an
1226(c). It is unnecessary to decide the issue, which has
become moot. Because the BIA has dismissed Mr. Ibrahim Gazor’s appeal of the IJ’s removal
order, he is no longer in pre-order removal immigration. See 8 C.F.R.
1241.1(a) (order of
removal by IJ becomes final upon dismissal of appeal by the BIA). Therefore, whether Mr.
Ibrahim Gazor possessed a claim for pre-removal habeas relief is no longer an issue. However,
this Court will also analyze whether Mr. Ibrahim Gazor is entitled to habeas relief under postremoval immigration detention authority.
B. Post-removal Immigration Detention
Mr. Ibrahim Gazor is now subject to a final order of removal. See 8 C.F.R.
(order of removal by IJ becomes final upon dismissal of appeal by the BIA). Post-removal
immigration detention, like pre-removal detention, can become excessive at some point, but is
subject to different standards.
Title 8 of the United States Code Section 1231 (a)( 1 )(A) states that, “except as otherwise
provided in this section, when an alien is ordered removed, the Attorney General shall remove
the alien from the United States within a period of 90 days (in this section referred to as the
“removal period”).” Id.
§ 1231 (a)(l )(A). The removal period begins on the latest of the
(i) The date the order of removal becomes administratively final.
(ii) If the removal order is judicially reviewed and if a 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
§ 1231 (a)(1)(B). Federal regulations provide that:
An order of removal made by the immigration judge at the
conclusion of the proceedings under section 240 of the Act shall
(a) Upon dismissal of an appeal by the Board of Immigration
(b) Upon waiver of appeal by the respondent;
(c) Upon expiration of the time allotted for an appeal if the
respondent does not file an appeal within that time;
(d) If certified to the Board or Attorney General, upon the date of
the subsequent decision ordering removal; or
(e) If an immigration judge issues an alternate order of removal in
connection with a grant of voluntary departure, upon overstay of
the voluntary departure period, or upon the failure to post a
required voluntary department bond within 5 business days. If the
respondent has filed a timely appeal with the Board, the order shall
become final upon an order of removal by the Board or the
Attorney General, or upon overstay of the voluntary departure
period granted or reinstated by the Board or the Attorney General.
8 C .F.R.
1241.1. Section 1231 (a)(2) requires that the alien he detained during the ninety day
post-removal order period. See 8 U. S.C.
ninety-day period, then
1231 (a)(2). If the alien is not removed during that
1231 (a)(6) authorizes either continued detention or release on bond:
An alien ordered removed who is inadmissible under section 1982
of this title, under section 1227(a)(1)(C), 1227(a)(2), or 1227(a)(4)
of this title or who has been determined by the Attorney General to
be a risk to the community or unlikely to comply with the order of
removal, may be detained beyond the removal period and, if
released, shall be subject to the terms of supervision in paragraph
In Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001), the United States Supreme Court held that
1231 (a)(6) “limits an alien’s post-removal-period detention to a period reasonably necessary to
bring about that alien’s removal from the United States. It does not permit indefinite detention.”
533 U.S. at 689. To state a habeas claim under
§ 2241, the petitioner must provide facts showing
good reason to believe that there is no reasonable likelihood of his actual removal in the
reasonably foreseeable future. See Zadvydas, 533 U.S. at 701. “Zadvydas does not delineate the
boundaries of evidentiary sufficiency, but it suggests that an inversely proportional relationship
is at play: the longer an alien is detained, the less he must put forward to obtain relief’ Alexander
v. Attorney Gen. United States, 495 F. App’x 274, 276-77 (3d Cir. 2012) (citing Zadvydas, 533
U.S. at 701). As a rule of thumb, the Supreme Court stated that six months is a presumptively
reasonable period of post-removal detention under
123 l(a)(6). See Zadvydas, 533 U.S. at 701.
Mr. Ibrahim Gazor’s post-removal immigration detention began on January 27, 2017.
Thus, the ninety-day mandatory detention period set forth in Section 1231 (a)( I )(A) has not yet
expired. Furthermore, Mr. Ibrahim Gazor is still clearly within the presumptively reasonable sixmonth period of post-removal immigration detention set forth in Zadvydas. Therefore, to the
extent that Mr. Ibrahim Gazor could challenge his post-removal-order immigration detention,
such a challenge is premature. Accord Grossett v. Muller, No. 13—0364, 2013 WL 6582944, at
*3 (D.N.J. Dec.13, 2013) (noting Zadvydas claim is premature if filed prior to expiration of sixmonth presumptively reasonable removal period); Abdou v. Elwood, No. 12—7720, 2013 WL
1405774, at *4 (D.N.J. Apr. 4, 2013) (same). Should the United States fail to execute the order of
removal within a reasonable time, Mr. Ibrahim Gazor may reassert his petition as a challenge to
excessive post-removal detention.
For the foregoing reasons, the habeas petition will be dismissed without prejudice. An
appropriate order will be entered.
United States District Judge
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