A federal immigration judge today said Pir Khan has lived illegally in the United States since 1991 and is subject to deportation, but he put off a decision on the deportation until August, when both the government and Khan's lawyer will make arguments about his future.
Khan, a 43-year-old taxi driver from Watertown, was arrested May 13, along with his cousin, Aftab Khan, 27, on immigration charges as part of the investigation into the May 1 car bombing attempt in Times Square.
Neither man is facing criminal charges in connection with that case.
At a brief hearing today, US Immigration Judge Matthew J. D'Angelo said the evidence shows that Pir Khan entered the country illegally on Aug. 1, 1991, when he crossed the US-Mexico border.
"I will find removability is established,'' D'Angelo said in court. "The evidence is clear and unequivocal.''
Khan's lawyer; Saher Macarius of Framingham, acknowledged that his client had entered the country illegally. But he said he will argue that Khan's lack of a criminal history and his marriage to an American citizen, among other things, justifies allowing him to remain in the United States, and not be returned to Pakistan.
Khan has previously sought the right to stay in the United States legally. He applied for political asylum on Oct. 24, 1994, but that was denied on Sept. 21, 2007. Khan was appealing that decision when he was married to Rebecca May Barry, then 22, of Lewiston, Maine, by a justice of the peace at Watertown City Hall on Dec. 6, 2008.
During a May 20 hearing in Immigration Court in Aftab Khan's case, Richard D. Neville, deputy chief counsel for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Boston, disclosed that Aftab Khan had the number of Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square plot suspect, stored in his cellphone and written on an envelope in the bedroom of the Watertown apartment he shared with Pir Khan and a couple of other men.
Aftab Khan was ordered deported last week. Macarius, who also represents Aftab Khan, said neither of his clients knew Shahzad. If federal authorities could have linked Aftab Khan to the cellphone, he would already be facing criminal charges in that case, he added.
"My opinion is if that was his, the government would have brought evidence before the judge to show that he touched that phone,'' he said. "They donít know the guy at all.''
During an earlier hearing in the Pir Khan case, Neville said it appeared that Pir Khan had two wives because when applying for political asylum he indicated he had a wife in Pakistan.
But Macarius said that Khan was never legally married to the woman in Pakistan and that she died in 2001.
The next hearing date is Aug. 10. Pir Khan appeared via video link from the Plymouth County Jail, where he is being held for the alleged immigration violations.
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