Beharry v. Reno
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
183 F. Supp. 2d 584 (2002)
Don Beharry (plaintiff) immigrated to the United States as a lawful permanent resident in 1982 at the age of seven. In 1996, Beharry was convicted of robbery and incarcerated. After Beharry’s conviction, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) (defendant) classified Beharry as an aggravated felon and commenced deportation proceedings. Because of the 1996 amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Beharry’s crime was not classified as an aggravated felony when it was committed, but it was reclassified as an aggravated felony by the time Beharry was convicted. At a deportation hearing, under the INA, Beharry petitioned for a discretionary deportation-waiver hearing on compassionate grounds. At the time, most of Beharry’s immediate family lived in the United States, and he had a minor daughter who was a United States citizen. Beharry’s deportation would break up Beharry’s immediate family and separate him from his minor child. The immigration judge denied Beharry’s request, holding that he was ineligible for a deportation-waiver hearing because he was classified as an aggravated felon. Beharry filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus with the federal district court, arguing that, as a longtime permanent resident, he should not be denied a deportation-waiver hearing simply because his crime had been reclassified post-commission as an aggravated felony under INA’s updated standards.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Weinstein, J.)
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