Kenyan held by DHS in New Mexico for three years denied release
Posted by Administrator on March 8, 2012
By ANTONY KARANJA firstname.lastname@example.org
A Kenyan man will continue to be in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security after a United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit dismissed his petition for a writ of habeaus corpus.
Simon Chege Mwangi had lodged an appeal against a ruling by a US District Court in New Mexico dismissing his petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
Habeaus Corpus is a legal action which has the force of a court order which may compel a prisoner who is unlawfully detained to be released or to be arraigned before a court and the detaining authority to prove before the court that the detention is lawful.
Mwangi came to the US in 2004 and overstayed his visa. He was arrested in 2008 and charged with domestic abuse and was subsequently detained by the DHS for remaining in this country without authorization. He has been in detention since November 2008.
The Kenyan national was subsequently placed in removal proceedings where he admitted he was removable but however applied for asylum, restriction on removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). An immigration judge however denied his applications and ordered him to be removed to Kenya after he testified that he had been a member of the Mungiki sect, which is devoted to “eliminating the western style of life within the country of Kenya.
Mwangi indicated that as a member of this sect, he had participated in robberies, beatings, and forcing women to submit to female genital mutilation. The immigration judge ruled that Mwangi was not eligible for any type of relief as he had engaged in acts of persecution. Mr. Mwangi appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”), which affirmed the denial of asylum and restriction on removal but remanded to the IJ for further consideration of Mr. Mwangi’s CAT claim.
During removal proceedings, an immigration judge may grant relief allowing an immigrant to remain in the US and apply to be a legal resident if certain requirements are met. However, anyone who has participated in the persecution of persons is not eligible for any relief and is permanently barred for entering the US.
Mwangi was challenging his detention saying that is indefinite and therefore violates his due process rights making it unconstitutional.
He is being held at the Otero detention facility in New Mexico.
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