This lawsuit, which was filed on November 9, 2018, is a collaborative work with Suffolk University School of Law Immigration Clinic. Our client is from Haiti who is facing imminent deportation from the United States because he has a final order of deportation. The Suffolk University School of Law Immigration Clinic submitted a motion to reopen our cleint's immigration case with the immigration appellate body. However, while this motion was pending, no judicial mechanism could stop the physical deportation. Hence, we filed a habeas corpus petition to address this issue by arguing that some parts of Real ID Act in 2005 and the Immigration Reform and Improvements Act of 1998, which stripped off habeas power from the district court to review immigration deportation orders, were unconstitutional under the Suspension Clause of the United States Constitution because there are no adequate means to substitute habeas corpus.

On January 24, 2019, the judge determined that the government’s plan to deport Mr. Compere to Haiti while his motion to reopen was pending violated his rights under federal law.  The Court ruled that, because habeas corpus is the only means available to Mr. Compere to protect his right to continue litigating his motion to reopen, the Suspension Clause of the U.S. Constitution prevents the jurisdiction-stripping provisions in federal law from being used to deny the Court’s jurisdiction. The judge found that Mr. Compere will likely face significant obstacles to continue his motion to reopen effectively while in Haiti, which violated his rights under federal law.

Attorney(s)

Gilles Bissonnette, ACLU-NH Legal Director, Henry Klementowicz, ACLU-NH Staff Attorney, and SangYeob Kim, ACLU-NH Immigration Fellow

Date filed

November 9, 2018

Court

U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire

Judge

Judge Paul Barbadoro

Status

Victory!

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