Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Younes v. Lynch

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

November 14, 2016

LORETTA LYNCH, United States Attorney General, JEH CHARLES JOHNSON, Secretary, United States Department of Homeland Security; REBECCA ADDUCCI, Director, Detroit Field Office, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and MATTHEW M. SAXTON, Sheriff of Calhoun County, Michigan, Respondents.



         Petitioner Sahar Hussein Younes is in the custody of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) and presently lodged in the Calhoun County, Michigan jail, awaiting deportation to her home country of Lebanon. She has been in custody since January 2016, and she seeks release under supervision via her petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 on October 4, 2016. After the government filed a response, the Court held a hearing on the petition in open court on November 14, 2016. The ICE agency, through Deportation Officer Lucas Wandyg, has been working since March 23, 2016 to obtain travel documents from the government of Lebanon, but, despite doing everything in its power to obtain those travel papers, it has not been successful. Nor has the government been able to inform the petitioner or the Court when one might expect such documents to issue. The Court determines, therefore, that the government has not shown that there is any significant likelihood that the petitioner will be sent to Lebanon in the reasonably foreseeable future. The petition will be granted and the petitioner ordered released on conditions.


         Petitioner Sahar Hussein Younes is a citizen of Lebanon. She was born in 1977 in Majdal Tarchich, Lebanon, and presently is 38 years old. She entered the United States as a lawful permanent resident in 1995. Until earlier this year, she lived in Dearborn, Michigan with her immediate family, which includes her husband, a United States citizen, and her three minor children, who also are U.S. citizens. Numerous members of her extended family also are lawful residents or citizens of the United States. On February 29, 2016, the petitioner was ordered removed from the country, after a conviction for student loan fraud. She did not challenge the order of removal, because, she contends, “she [wants] to return to Lebanon as expeditiously as possible.” Since the order of deportation was entered, she has been detained at the Calhoun County Jail in Battle Creek, Michigan, under ICE's custody. During her detention the petitioner has undergone two “custody reviews, ” at 90 days and 180 days, but on both occasions her requests for supervised release were denied by ICE officials.

         Deportation Officer Wandyg states that he made his initial request to the Lebanese Consulate for travel documents on March 23, 2016. When he followed up with an email inquiry, a consulate representative responded with a request for a cashier's check and four photographs of the petitioner, which Officer Wandyg promptly furnished. Officer Wandyg made additional inquiries, but he did not receive any response until May 16, 2016, when a consulate representative called to state that documents would issue in “about two months.” Since then, Officer Wandyg has contacted the Lebanese Consulate in July and August, but has not received any information that the issuance of the travel documents was forthcoming. His September 30 inquiry went unanswered, as did his October 18 inquiry.

         While she has been detained, the petitioner's attorney has communicated with officials of the Lebanese consulate, who have confirmed that they have all the information needed to process the petitioner's travel authorization. Petitioner's counsel also has corresponded with the ICE case agent assigned to the petitioner's removal proceeding, who confirmed that nothing remains to be done by the petitioner or United States officials to facilitate the removal. However, no travel documents have yet been produced, and the Lebanese consulate has not suggested any date by which they will be produced, despite the passage of more than eight months since the initial request for authorization. On August 31, 2016, the petitioner's attorney spoke by telephone with a consulate official who stated that she had “no idea how long it would take” for an authorization to be issued, but who nevertheless assured petitioner's counsel that the petitioner would “eventually receive one.”

         The petitioner suggests that the delay may be due in part to the need for multiple domestic government agencies in Lebanon to sign off on her authorization to return to the country. She believes that review has been complicated by the fact that Lebanese officials at some point erroneously assigned her a “lot number” that was related to her former husband, rather than the “lot number” that currently is or should be assigned to her, and the confusion over the proper “lot number” that the petitioner should be assigned has delayed the needed approvals.

         At the hearing, the attorney for the government, responding to the Court's questions, stated that the government has no information that the petitioner is a flight risk or a danger to the community. The state of the record, all agree, points to the conclusion that as to the request by the United States for the petitioner, the government of Lebanon has not said “no, ” but likewise it has not said “yes, ” and no one can say when an answer will be forthcoming.

         On October 4, 2016, the petitioner filed her petition for a writ of habeas corpus seeking release from ICE custody pending deportation. The government filed a response on October 20, 2016, and the petitioner filed a reply on November 3, 2016. The Court held a hearing on the petition in open court on November 14, 2016.


         Congress has prescribed that once an alien has been ordered to be deported from our country, “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').” 8 U.S.C. § 1231(a)(1)(A). Moreover, “[d]uring the removal period, the Attorney General shall detain the alien.” Id. § 1231(a)(2). And Congress has authorized the Attorney General (now the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security) to detain such an alien beyond the 90-day removal period under certain circumstances:

An alien ordered removed who is inadmissible under section 1182 of this title, removable under section 1227(a)(1)(C), 1227(a)(2), or 1227(a)(4) of this title or who has been determined by the [Secretary] 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 (3).

Id. § 1231(a)(6). “By its terms, this provision applies to three categories of aliens: (1) those ordered removed who are inadmissible under § 1182, (2) those ordered removed who are removable under § 1227(a)(1)(C), § 1227(a)(2), or § 1227(a)(4), and (3) those ordered removed whom the Secretary determines to be either a risk to the community or a flight risk.” Clark v. Martinez, 543 U.S. 371, 377 (2005). The petitioner does not dispute that she falls into the second category of aliens eligible for extended detention under section 1231(a)(6), because she is subject to a final order of removal based on her conviction for an “aggravated felony.” However, “[i]n Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001), the Court interpreted this provision to authorize the Attorney General (now the Secretary) to detain aliens . . . only as long as ‘reasonably necessary' to remove them from the country.” Clark v. Martinez, 543 U.S. 371, 373 (2005) (quoting Zadvydas, 533 U.S. at 689, 699). The Zadvydas Court held that reading section 1231(a)(6) to authorize indefinite detention would render the statute unconstitutional. Zadvydas, 533 U.S. at 690. Therefore, the Court “construe[d] the statute to contain an implicit ‘reasonable time' limitation, the application of which is subject to federal-court review.” Id. at 682.

         The Supreme Court held in Zadvydas that detention of an alien subject to removal due to a criminal conviction will be presumptively reasonable for up to six months. However, “[a]fter this 6-month period, once the alien provides good reason to believe that there is no significant likelihood of removal in the reasonably foreseeable future, the Government must respond with evidence sufficient to rebut that showing.” Zadvydas, 533 U.S. at 701. “[F]or detention to remain reasonable, as the period of prior postremoval confinement grows, what counts as the ‘reasonably foreseeable future' conversely would have to shrink.” Ibid. ‚ÄúThis 6-month presumption, of course, does not mean that every alien not removed must be ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.