CHICAGO (CN) – The 7th Circuit came down on an immigration judge for suggesting that a Nigerian immigrant could escape getting jailed in Africa by simply bribing his jailers.
Plaintiff Stephen Bosede is a Nigerian citizen who has spent the last 27 years in the United States. Though he is an active member in the community – he holds a job, goes to church, volunteers and attends college classes – he has a criminal past.
He was ordered removed after he was convicted twice for possessing “small amounts” of cocaine and once for drinking liquor in a grocery store before paying for it, the ruling states.
The immigration judge denied Bosede’s request for relief, basing his decision on the petitioner’s “particularly serious crimes” and a belief that Bosede could once again bribe his way out of a Nigerian jail, as he allegedly had in 1999.
The circuit strongly disagreed with the judge’s view of the gravity of the crimes, but also with his implication that Bosede could merely wheedle his way out of jail.
“We are appalled that the IJ would rest his decision on the absurd proposition that Bosede could evade imprisonment, mistreatment and possibly death by approaching his jailers and trying to buy his way out,” Judge Rovner wrote. See ruling.