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Habeas Release Granted to Immigration Detainee After 3 Year Wait for Removal Proceedings

Morocco citizen Mourad Madrane petitioned pro se for a writ of habeas corpus to end his prolonged detention while awaiting deportation proceedings following his aggravated felony convictions for various access device fraud charges. The writ was issued and he was ordered release, with restrictions pending the proceeding’s outcome, as a result of due process violations.

Madrane entered the United States in 1997. His convictions for numerous counts of access device fraud earned him an 18 month federal prison sentence with three years supervised release. Upon his release the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained him pending his deportation from the U.S. due to his convictions. Madrane challenged his removal, claiming the Moroccan government would subject him to torture. The motion was denied and he filed an emergency request for a writ of habeas corpus.

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania stayed his removal pending consideration of the writ. A joint filing by Madrane and the U.S. Attorney General’s office eventually obtained his permanent resident status. The district court ordered ICE officials to present evidence of their contention that Madrane was a flight risk, which they failed to prove. At that point Madrane had been held in detention for three years.

The U.S. District Court held that due process had been violated because Madrane had been detained 23 times longer than 85 percent of removal cases, and almost nine times longer than the other 15 percent. The writ was issued and Madrane was ordered released with specified restrictions. See: Madrane v. Hogan, 520 F.Supp.2d 654 (M.D. Pa., 2007).

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Related legal case

Madrane v. Hogan