Petitioner, a Laotian citizen, filed for a writ of habeas corpus while being in custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. While the petition was pending, the petitioner was released from custody subject to supervision. Petitioner was facing deportation and removal, but could not be removed to Laos because the Laotian government declined to issue a passport for him, based in Laotian law.
The court denied the petition as moot, as the petitioner was already released and there was no significant danger of repeated injury.
No major surprise in the actual ruling in this case, but the factual background was what drew my attention. Law across borders is always a little bit of a mess involving ill-fitting parts, but there is no place like immigration law that truly shows the human stakes of such an ill fit. Why would the petitioner have to be kept out of Laos? Why would the petitioner be in custody in the United States? But this is the result in which he landed.