Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Justice Department Possibly Lied To The Supreme Court About Returning Deportees Who Win?

In Nken v. Holder, the Justice Department told the United States Supreme Court at page 44 of its brief that "By policy and practice, the government accords aliens who were removed pending judicial review but then prevailed before the courts effective relief by, inter alia, facilitating the aliens' return to the United States by parole under 8 USC 1182(d)(5) if necessary, and according them the status they had at the time of removal."

We have already blogged the question about whether the Justice Department was really telling the truth.

The Third Circuit's decision in Puveegiin v. Holder (3d Cir. Aug. 25, 2009) (not precedential) raises serious questions about whether the Justice Department told the truth. According to the explanation of what happened in that case, the Third Circuit explained that the person facing deportation filed a motion for a stay of removal. Before the Third Circuit could rule on it, the government acted without telling the court and deported Mr. Purveegiin. The Third Circuit granted a motion to compel the government to return Mr. Purveegiin to the United States.

If you believe the Justice Department's brief to the Supreme Court, it sounds like it would be easy for Mr. Purveegiin to get back to the United States. However, the Third Circuit ominously wrote that Mr. Purveegiin "remains in Mongolia because he and the Government are at an impasse relating to the terms and conditions of his return to the United States."

What's going on? The Third Circuit does not explain what the impasse is. I thought the Justice Department was suggesting to the Supreme Court that they help everyone return if required to.

We can't tell what really is happening. Maybe Mr. Purveegiin made unreasonable demands -- did he ask for bottled water on his flight back to the United States or special organic food for the in-flight meal? Too hard to tell, but it again raises the question of whether the government is living up to what it wrote in its brief to the Supreme Court.