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Arar v. Ashcroft

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
585 F.3d 559 (2009)


Maher Arar (plaintiff) is a dual citizen of Syria and Canada. While changing planes in New York, Arar was detained, based on a warning from Canadian authorities that he was a member of al Qaeda. Arar was intensely questioned about his relationship with suspected terrorists by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as the Immigration and Nationalization Service (INS). On October 1, 2002, INS initiated removal proceedings against Arar, notifying him that he could not be admitted to the United States, because he belonged to a terrorist organization. On October 8, Arar learned that the INS had ordered his removal to Syria and barred him from reentering the United States for five years. Arar was flown to Jordan, then handed over to Syrian officials. Arar was in Syria for a year, where he was interrogated and brutally beaten. On October 5, 2003, Arar was released to the custody of the Canadian embassy and flown to Canada. Arar brought a Bivens suit against the Attorney General of the United States, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of the FBI (defendants), alleging the defendants’ actions violated Arar’s Fifth Amendment due process rights. Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). The district court dismissed the complaint, and Arar appealed. A three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Arar’s Bivens claims. The court then voted to rehear the appeal en banc.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Jacobs, C.J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Sack, J.)

Dissent (Calabresi, J.)

Dissent (Pooler, J.)

Dissent (Parker, J.)

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