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Judi Lynn

(161,408 posts)
Tue Mar 29, 2016, 06:21 PM Mar 2016

 The US Wants to Deport This Palestinian—but First It’d Have to Recognize Palestine

 The US Wants to Deport This Palestinian—but First It’d Have to Recognize Palestine

Officially “stateless” in the eyes of the US government, Hisham Shaban Ghalia has ground the mechanisms of deportation to a halt.

By John Washington

 Beginning in besieged Gaza, through Turkey, Greece, Venezuela, Central America, and Mexico, Hisham Shaban Ghalia traveled 10,000 miles—flying, riding buses, walking, and even swimming—to get to the United States. But despite coming to this country to seek asylum from violence and hardship in the Gaza Strip, Shaban has been languishing for the past 16 months in an immigration detention center in Florence, Arizona. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Shaban can’t stay in the country. But because of the peculiar legal and diplomatic tangle that Shaban finds himself in, he can’t be sent back home, either. That’s because, according to US law, Shaban has no home to be deported to.

Shaban’s asylum claim was denied last August, but ICE has neither deported him nor released him from custody. Shaban’s lawyer, Liban Yousuf, of the nonprofit Council on American-Islamic Relations, who began representing him pro bono only this January, filed a habeas corpus petition on February 20 (over six months after his asylum claim was denied) asking for Shaban to be granted supervised release, which, though it would provide no legal status, could allow him to work. While the petition is still being reviewed, ICE issued a “Decision to Continue Detention” on February 25, explaining that “ICE is currently working with the Government of Palestine” in order to remove him from US custody. But the fact that the United States does not recognize Palestine as a state has rendered this process difficult. In his case file, ICE documents refer to his home country only within parentheses, his citizenship listed as: “Stateless (Palestine).” Shaban told me, “I have a serious fear that I’ll spend my life here [in detention].” As of publication, he has spent 499 days behind bars.

Beyond Citizenship

“Everyone,” according to Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “has the right to a nationality.” Palestine, in the early decades of the last century, was seen as a home for stateless Jews. Now, it is the Palestinians who are rendered stateless, who are searching for a recognition of their nationality, their home. Neve Gordon, author of Israel’s Occupation, explained the peculiar predicament of statelessness: “When a person is stripped of any connection to a state and all that remains is his or her being a human being, that is the moment when they need the most human rights, and they have no rights.”

Worldwide, there are an estimated 15 million stateless persons—what Vicent Chetail, professor of international law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, called “a growing problem.” The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) however, not counting Palestinians in the figure, puts the worldwide number of stateless at 10 million. Chetail explained that due to “very restrictive legislation” for Palestinians requesting Refugee Status, “there are no other possibilities than to leave their country and enter into another one in an illegal manner.” (Asking for asylum, as Shaban did at the US border, however, is not illegal, according to both US and international law).


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 The US Wants to Deport This Palestinian—but First It’d Have to Recognize Palestine (Original Post) Judi Lynn Mar 2016 OP
Irony thy name Palestine angstlessk Mar 2016 #1
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