Judge’s Comments About Gays Prompts Rehearing

     NEW YORK (CN) – An immigration judge’s comments about homosexuality denied a man a fair hearing on whether he should be returned to Guyana, the 2nd Circuit ruled.

     Peter Conrad Ali has already been deported twice, in 1997 and 1999. He was arrested after re-entering the United States in 2000.
     This time, Ali challenged his deportation on the grounds that he would be tortured if he were again returned to Guyana.
     Ali said that he was beaten and raped by police immediately after his first deportation. He escaped custody and traveled through Brazil, Guatemala and Mexico before hitchhiking from Arizona to his mother’s house in Queens, N.Y. Ali escaped in similar fashion in 1999, this time going through Jamaica.
     In his 2004 hearing, the immigration judge did not believe Ali’s story was plausible, because it involved “too many lucky breaks and coincidences.”
     He also said he did not understand why Ali mentioned his homosexuality at his third hearing but did not talk about the rape at his second hearing.
     Judge Calabresi ruled that immigration judge denied Ali’s rights when he said, “violent dangerous criminals and feminine contemptible homosexuals are not usually considered to be the same people.”
     Calabresi wrote, “These comments reflect an impermissible reliance on preconceived assumptions about homosexuality and homosexuals, as well as a disrespect for the petitioner.”
     Calabresi remanded the case for a hearing by a different immigration judge.

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