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HYPPOLITE v. ASHCROFT

United States District Court, Eastern District of New York


March 7, 2003

JEAN FRITZ HYPPOLITE, PETITIONER, AGAINST JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; JOHN W. ZIGLAR, COMMISSIONER OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE; CARYL THOMPSON, DISTRICT DIRECTOR OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, OAKDALE, LOUISIANA; DISTRICT DIRECTOR OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE OF NEW YORK; IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, RESPONDENTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jack B. Weinstein, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM & JUDGMENT

Petitioner is a Haitian citizen seeking an interdiction of his imminent removal from the United States. He is presently serving a federal prison sentence after his conviction for conspiracy to import cocaine. In October 2002, an immigration judge ordered his removal from the country, a decision affirmed by the Board of Immigration Appeals in February 2003.

Petitioner contends that his removal would be improper because (1) the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) illegally denied his application for naturalization prior to his federal drug conviction, and (2) he is a United States "national" even though he was born in Haiti and is not a United States citizen. Neither claim has merit.

Petitioner's application for naturalization was denied because he failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he was a person "of good moral character." 8 C.F.R. § 316.10(a). This conclusion was supported by the fact that petitioner (1) has a history of arrest for assault with a weapon and for criminal possession of a weapon; (2) was convicted of disposing of a counterfeit certificate of arrival; and (3) was convicted of conspiracy to import cocaine, an aggravated felony. The finding of INS that petitioner is not of good moral character and its denial of his application for naturalization are not, under these circumstances, the basis for an attack in this court.

Petitioner was born in Haiti and neither of his parents was a United States citizen. The conclusion of INS that he is not a non-citizen national of the United States within the meaning of Title 8, section 1408(a) of the United States Code is not, under these circumstances, the basis for an attack in this court.

The petition is denied.

SO ORDERED.

20030307

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