Obama Administration Denies Legal Immigrant’s Release

by Raymond G. Lahoud, Esquire

Obama Administration Denies Legal Immigrant’s Release from Immigration Custody, following Two Years of Confinement, Arguing that the Father of Three has No Rights.

York, Penn – (Jan 27, 2012) – With two years of continued immigration detention and no release date in sight, President Barack Obama’s Administration refused to release Robert Bautista from confinement at the York Immigration Detention Facility. Bautista, a long-time Easton, Pennsylvania resident, father of three and a Lawful Permanent Resident for over twenty five years, must now remain incarcerated for years, while his deportation case works its way through the immigration appellate court system.

“After serving nearly two years in what our President refers to as ‘civil’ confinement, Mr. Bautista’s family made several desperate requests that the Department of Homeland Security exercise its statutory authority to release him,” said Raymond Lahoud, Bautista’s attorney, “the Government strongly opposed Mr. Bautista’s requests, arguing that he has absolutely no rights, regardless of his years of being every bit American as the President himself.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement took Bautista into custody in 2010, given his 2003 conviction for Attempted Arson in the Third Degree – a minor offense in New York that carried a minimal criminal penalty. Since then, federal authorities have detained Bautista, pending the outcome of his deportation proceeding, which has now reached the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bautista is appealing the clear errors of law the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) as well as the lower-Immigration Court made. The BIA held the first oral argument since 2008 when reviewing Bautista’s appeal, recognizing the case’s importance to the deportation defense system.

“For two years, three, young American citizen children, an American citizen wife, mother, brother and hundreds of friends, have been deprived of being with their loved one,” said Lahoud, of the Immigration Law and Deportation Defense Firm, Baurkot & Baurkot. “Mr. Bautista was earning a substantial amount of income, was paying taxes and supporting his children. Then, years after a minor conviction, the Department of Homeland Security suddenly arrested our Client and his family’s life tumbled: they lost their business, home, father and husband,” noted Lahoud.

Requests to release Mr. Bautista have been met strongly opposed by Obama’s Administration. In response to a recent habeas petition Bautista’s attorneys filed at the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, which demanded his release, the Obama Administration declared that Bautista has no rights, given that he was arrested after his return from a short vacation abroad. The Court agreed with the Government’s position. Bautista’s attorneys subsequently filed a formal request for parole (release) with Immigration & Customs Enforcement. The federal executive department refused to release Bautista. In a letter Bautista’s attorneys received from Immigration & Customs Enforcement, the Government wrote that it is sympathetic to Bautista’s cause, but, nonetheless, without any real explanation, ordered that Bautista to remain indefinitely detained at the Government’s expense.