Dalegrand v. Donate

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attempted to illegally detain Haitian citizen

Court/Assoc.: Federal Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania

Attorneys/Firms: Valerie Burch (ACLU of PA), Sital Kalantry (Cornell Law School, Asylum and Convention Against Torture Appellate Law Clinic)

Emmanuel Dalegrand, a citizen of Haiti, has resided in the U.S. for nearly twenty-seven years. In December 2005, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained him and initiated removal proceedings. Mr. Dalegrand, who suffers from serious health problems including hypertension, argued that his removal would be illegal under the United Nations Convention Against Torture because, upon arrival in Haiti, he would be detained and denied the daily medication necessary for his survival. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit now hears this argument.

In the meantime, Mr. Dalegrand remains detained by ICE. His two-and-a-half-year-long detention is illegal under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Zadvydas v. Davis, applying due process limitations to ICE detentions. On May 15, 2008, Cornell Law School and ACLU-PA filed a petition for habeas corpus in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, arguing that Mr. Dalegrand's continued detention is in violation of procedural and substantive due process, the excessive bail clause of the 8th Amendment and statutory law. Mr. Dalegrand remains detained at the Lackawanna County Prison.

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