Vetcher v. Sessions

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IVAN ALEXANDROVICH VETCHER, Plaintiff, v. Civil Action No. 17-1743 (JEB) JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, III, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, et al., Defendants. MEMORANDUM OPINION Pro se Plaintiff Ivan Vetcher has been detained for over three years while he challenges removal proceedings brought against him by the Department of Homeland Security. After coming up empty in a congeries of cases filed before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Northern District of Texas, the Eastern District of Texas, the Western District of Louisiana, and the Fifth Circuit, Vetcher brought an action in this Court alleging that Defendants — the United States Attorney General and the Secretary of DHS — oversaw actions and policies that are unconstitutional and in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. The Government now moves to dismiss, contending that this Court lacks jurisdiction and that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which any relief can be granted. Agreeing as to both, the Court will dismiss some of the claims and order that the remainder be transferred to the Northern District of Texas, where Vetcher is currently detained. I. Background As it must at this stage, the Court treats all of the facts in the Amended Complaint as true. See Sparrow v. United Air Lines, Inc., 216 F.3d 1111, 1113 (D.C. Cir. 2000). The Court will 1 also consider the facts set forth in Plaintiff’s Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss and his other cases incorporated by reference thereto. See Brown v. Whole Foods Mkt. Grp., Inc., 789 F.3d 146, 152 (D.C. Cir. 2015). Plaintiff, a native and citizen of Belarus, entered the United States in 2001 as a refugee. See Vetcher v. Lynch, 2015 WL 10551735, at *1 (W.D. La. June 15, 2015). In 2014, he was convicted under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.113(d), which makes it a first-degree felony to knowingly manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to deliver between 4 and 400 grams of any controlled substance. See Compl., Exh. G (BIA Decisions) at 4. Shortly after his conviction, DHS initiated removal proceedings under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii), which requires the Attorney General to order “[a]ny alien who is convicted of an aggravated felony at any time after admission . . . deportable.” By statute, any alien “found . . . deportable” under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2) is subject to mandatory detention during the removal period. Id. § 1231(a)(2). On July 2, 2014, accordingly, Vetcher was taken into ICE custody. See Compl., ¶ 1. On August 6, the Immigration Judge sustained the aggravated-felony charge, found Vetcher ineligible for asylum or withholding of removal, and denied his request for deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture. See BIA Decisions at 4. He successfully filed a motion to reopen proceedings on March 25, 2015, however, and the BIA then remanded the matter because “the Immigration Judge had not given [him] a meaningful chance to contest the aggravated felony charge during his [pro se] initial ...

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Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals