VA: Immigrant Released After Four Years in Jail


VA: IMMIGRANT RELEASED AFTER NEARLY FOUR YEARS IN JAIL

A Middle Eastern man jailed for nearly four years on an immigration violation was released from jail Friday.

Majed Talat Hajbeh was taken by federal immigration officials from the Piedmont Regional Jail in Farmville to a processing center in Fairfax County, a jail official told The Virginian-Pilot. Hajbeh's daughter confirmed to the newspaper that he was being released.

Last month a federal judge ruled that Hajbeh had to be released because the government, which wants to deport him, had taken too long to find a country that would take him.

U.S. District Court Judge Jerome B. Friedman said in his order issued May 25 that the government violated Hajbeh's constitutional rights and that he must be released by June 8.

Hajbeh was expected to attend a prayer meeting at a Fairfax mosque Friday afternoon, said his daughter, Sumaya Hajbeh.

Hajbeh was arrested and detained in 2003 in a sweep of suspected immigration violators. An immigration judge ordered him deported, reasoning that Hajbeh entered incorrect information on papers when he entered the United States in 1993. Hajbeh said he made a mistake when he checked "single" instead of "married."

The judge did not take into account that Hajbeh was acquitted in federal court of a criminal charge of falsifying the document.

 


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