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Dessouki v. Attorney General of United States

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

February 14, 2019

ADEL DESSOUKI, Petitioner
v.
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent ADEL DESSOUKI, Appellant
v.
SECRETARY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; ATTORNEY GENERAL UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; ACTING DIRECTOR UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES; ACTING DISTRICT DIRECTOR UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT OFFICE

          Argued November 15, 2018

          On Petition for Review of Decisions of the United States Department of Justice Board of Immigration Appeals (A029-635-695) Immigration Judge: Rosalind K. Malloy

          On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (D.C. No. 2:17-cv-02389) District Judge: Honorable Timothy J. Savage

          Douglas A. Grannan [ARGUED] Counsel for Petitioner-Appellant

          Elizabeth Fitzgerald-Sambou [ARGUED] Rodolfo D. Saenz United States Department of Justice Office of Immigration Litigation

          Anthony St. Joseph Office of United States Attorney Counsel for Respondent-Appellee

          Before: GREENAWAY, JR., BIBAS, and FUENTES, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

          BIBAS, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         People have several paths to press claims of U.S. citizenship. They can raise citizenship as a defense to removal. They can affirmatively petition the government. And they can bring their claims in federal court. In any case, the core inquiry remains the same: is this person a United States citizen? Adel Dessouki is not. That one finding moots the rest of the issues here. So we will deny his petitions for review and dismiss his District Court appeal.

         I. Background

         Adel Dessouki's immigration saga spans decades. He was born in France in 1982. His parents never married, and they separately immigrated to the United States. Dessouki came with his mother and went on to live with his father. Though they entered on temporary visas, his mother became a lawful permanent resident and his father a U.S. citizen. But Dessouki himself remained on parole status for many years.

         Things took a turn for the worse in 2003, when Dessouki was convicted of several drug-related felonies. The government soon tried to remove him. But the government failed to prove that Dessouki was an alien. So an immigration judge terminated his removal proceedings. Dessouki remained in the United States.

         But not for long. A few years later, the government reopened the proceedings. After reconsidering the previous decision, another immigration judge reversed course and rejected Dessouki's claim that he was a citizen. The government then removed him to France.

         Ever-persistent, Dessouki snuck back into the United States. But not without consequence-he was charged with reentry after deportation. He ...


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