Thursday, June 3, 2010

It Begins

Apparently Canada deported Abdirahman Ali Gaal, a Somali legal permanent resident and terrorist, to the United States. He has been placed in custody during removal proceedings. (h/t Islamization Watch) The article on CNN is a bit confusing as it appears the Department of Homeland Security spokesman and the reporter know little about immigration law, but here is the jist of the story:

"Matthew Chandler, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman, said Wednesday that Gaal was questioned by U.S. officials.

"'In the course of that interview process, he was determined to be inadmissible to the United States and is currently being detained pending immigration proceedings,' Chandler said.

"Gaal admitted to having committed fraud when he applied for refugee status in Canada in October 2008 and to abandoning his "legal permanent residency" status in the United States by departing the U.S. for more than 10 months and applying for refugee status in Canada, a U.S. official told CNN on condition of not being identified by name."

What is clear is that Gaal is not in removal proceedings for any act of terrorism or supporting terrorism, but because he abandoned his legal permanent residence by moving to Canada and requesting residence there by their asylum process, then he moved to Mauritania "to study Islam." Which is what we all know it is.

He apparently knew something was up after he heard the Mounties were after him and he immediately decided to return to the U.S.

Interestingly he went to the U.S. Embassy in Mauritania to inquire if he could return with no problems and was allegedly told there were no problems.

"Gaal then went to the U.S. Embassy in Mauritania and was told there was no impediment to him returning home, according to his brother. Gaal also called the FBI to check on his status, his brother said.

"Gaal flew to Paris and on to Mexico City, and intended to travel to Seattle, Washington, where their mother lives, his brother said."

However, he apparently knew he was on the no fly list, as he in an attempt to get to Seattle where mommy lives via Paris and Mexico City. Obviously that is not either the cheapest or most direct way to Seattle. It is clear he was intending to enter the U.S. via the Mexican land border by flying to Mexico City, which also tells us he knew he was on the no fly list. But what he did not know was that the flight would enter U.S. air space or that those on the no fly list also cannot enter American airspace even on a flight not landing in the U.S. This tells us that he knew he was being watched by the FBI and our intelligence services, which does not say much for their abilites to conduct surveillance and intelligence activities.

However, the lawyers will soon be involved and Gaal will soon be released. DHS is trying to remove him based on his change of residence and asylum application to Canada. Legal permanent residents are usually required to live in the U.S., but many avoid that requirement either legally by petitioning DHS to ignore the requirement, keeping their overseas residence secret from DHS, or, more importantly, DHS usually ignores this violation by legal permanent residents, which is done quite requently.

First a primer on immigration law regarding legal permanent residents and actual place of residence. Generally, aliens admitted for legal permanent residence are required to live in the U.S. If they are outside the U.S. for one year or more, their status expires and they must apply for legal permanent residence again, using the SB-1 Immigrant Visa. If they are outside the U.S. for 6 months or more, they are routinely advised of their residency requirement, and their passports and computer systems are so noted so as to establish in the future any pattern or practice they have and that they were advised of the residency requirement. If their residency was suspect, they were placed in removal proceeding before a hearing officer of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) who would hear and rule on their case regarding where they were living and their compliance with the law.

Routinely with the late unlamented INS, when such aliens were encountered the management would ignore or drop such charges when the alien claimed that they would comply with the residency requirement in the future.

Previously, up until the late 90s, the legacy INS was quite strict on such cases and placed the aliens in removal proceedings, telling the aliens when they arrived in the U.S. from long stays overseas that their passports would be held until the hearing, which was usually a year from the date the aliens were discovered not living in the U.S., but somewhere overseas. The aliens really had no intention of living in the U.S. but would claim so just to maintain welfare and SSI payments which went further overseas.

But sometime in the late 90s under the Clintong Regime, the legacy INS stopped holding the aliens passports and allowed them to appear at the hearing but allowed them to return to where they were living. They would then return for the hearing and plead their case, swearing up and down that this time they are returning for good, but those were lies that the hearing officer from the EOIR believed, then ruled in the aliens favor, and the alien then returned to live off welfare and SSI overseas. Or they just applied for citizenship, then moved overseas.

But, because of the precedents set during this liberal period, any good immigration attorney will get this guy off in a heartbeat. First, Gaal was only outside the U.S. for 10 months. Technically, the law is not violated by a ten month stay, it has to be a year outside the U.S. that causes their legal permanent residence to be invalidated. Second, he will claim that he is in removal proceedings only because of his political views, which is true. DHS does not put aliens in removal proceedings for one 10 month stay ouside the U.S. The only complicating factor is his admittedly fraudulent application for asylum in Canada, which is interpreted as him seeking residence outside the U.S.

It is most likely that during this process, Gaal will apply for citizenship and it will be approved or he will either win his case at the hearing officer level, or during the appeal process to the Board of Immigration Appeals or at the federal court level. There is not just enough to hold him on given the years of non-enforcement of the resideny requirement.

In any event, he cannot be deported to Canada, nor to Somalia. He is not a citizen or resident of Canada and he cannot be returned to Somalia because the federal courts have blocked deportations to Somalia. In any event he will either file a new claim for asylum if he looses his case, just like Obama's aunt did or apply for withholding of deporation based on the political situation there or claim he will be tortured by the Transitional Government there because he is an Islamist or percieved as an Islamist and the Convention On Torture Treaty will prevent his deportation.

So, all this is sound and fury, signifying nothing.

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