Chehazeh v. Attorney Gen. of the U.S., No. 10-2995 (3d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Petitioner left Syria because of fears relating to indebtedness and was admitted to the U.S. as a nonimmigrant in 2000. He became acquainted with men involved in the September 11 attacks and later voluntarily provided the FBI with information. In October 2001 the INS issued a Notice to Appear charging petitioner as removable. He sought asylum and withholding of removal and relief under the Convention Against Torture and was transferred to FBI custody on a material witness warrant. The IJ granted the application for asylum (8 U.S.C. 1158), withholding of removal (8 U.S.C. 1231(b)(3)(A)), and withholding of removal pursuant to the CAT, finding that he belonged to the social group of "hopeless debtors," persecuted in Syria. Three years later, ICE indicated that his application might have been fraudulent and that petitioner might pose a threat to national security. The BIA reopened "sua sponte" and remanded. The district court dismissed, for lack of jurisdiction, a "Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Stay of Removal Proceedings." The Third Circuit reversed concluding that, under these unusual circumstances, the district court has jurisdiction to review the BIA decision to reopen pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1331 and the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 701.