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WILSON v. INS
April 16, 2003
The opinion of the court was delivered by: James B. Zagel, United States District Judge
This is a petition for habeas corpus by Adnan Wilson, an alien person now in custody awaiting removal to Pakistan. Wilson's removal was sought in late 1999 after his conviction for three separate offenses involving domestic battery, aggravated assault, and violation of an order of protection. He was sentenced to prison. On September 29, 2000, the immigration judge found him deportable on three grounds all arising from his convictions. Wilson appealed, but the appeal was dismissed on March 14, 2001. Nonetheless, he persisted in challenging his deportation, but his request for a stay was denied. During a subsequent removal attempt, Wilson was taken off a plane bound for Pakistan because Pakistan's consulate refused to issue a travel document to him.
Motions to Reopen were filed and denied, the last one on December 5, 2002. Another removal was then attempted but failed on November 20, 2002 when Wilson refused to sign a statement that he was in fact Pakistani and that he wanted to be removed to Pakistan, a statement which the Pakistani consulate insisted was the sine qua non for issuing a travel document. Wilson refused to sign despite being warned that there could be a penalty for his failure to cooperate with a removal. To this day, INS is still working with the Pakistani consulate to effectuate removal but is keeping Wilson in custody because of his criminal history,*fn1 flight risk, and the absence of any relief from the removal order.
Wilson's petition will fail unless he can explain his apparent failure to cooperate with his removal. Absent such an explanation, it is impossible to conclude that there is no reasonably foreseeable likelihood of removal. Wilson has some valid arguments. It may be true, as he asserts, that he has signed such statements in the past and thus could have been removed at several points in the past. It may also be true that Wilson had been unlawfully detained in the past. Finally, it may even be true that INS has administered this case in a less than stellar manner and that Wilson has grown weary of signing the same papers over and over again (as opposed to filing repeated motions to stay, for example). Regardless of these points, Wilson has no right to refuse to cooperate on their basis. He is being held now because he could have been removed on November 20 if he had cooperated, but he did not. The rules requiring cooperation are not limited to one single incident. There is no evidence that Pakistan is currently refusing to accept deportees. If Pakistan insists on a lot of paperwork to effectuate removal, petitioner must cooperate in the production of that paperwork. Exasperation, even if understandable, is not an acceptable explanation for failure to sign the papers.
For the above reasons, Wilson's Petition for a Writ of Habeas ...
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