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Apr 24, 2023

Immigration – Civil Practice – Mootness – Visa Reinstatement

During the course of this litigation, plaintiffs – whose nonimmigrant visas had been revoked by defendant – received new visas of the same type. Consequently, plaintiffs’ claims are moot. We affirm summary judgment for defendant. Also during the course of this litigation, plaintiffs learned that some of their visas had been automatically revoked while others […]

Apr 19, 2022

Immigration – Applicant fails to show likelihood of torture in El Salvador

Where the immigration judge or IJ, found that the threat of torture from MS-13, police and vigilante groups in El Salvador was less than 50%, both separately and in the aggregate, an applicant’s bid for protection under the Convention Against Torture or CAT, was denied. Background Miguel Angel Ibarra Chevez petitions for review of the […]

Mar 29, 2022

Immigration – Board erred by imposing ‘living parent’ requirement in statute

Where the attorney general has discretion to waive removal for an alien who is the son of a U.S. citizen, the board erred by concluding that a deceased parent is not a qualifying relative for waiver eligibility. Nothing in the statute contains the living parent requirement. Background Congress allocates a certain number of immigrant visas […]

Mar 16, 2022

Immigration – No en banc hearing on Board of Immigration case

Where a majority of the judges voted against rehearing en banc a case involving whether to grant Chevron deference to the Board of Immigration’s recent interpretation of § 1101(a)(43)(S), the motion for rehearing en banc was denied. Background A requested poll of the court failed to produce a majority of judges in regular active service […]

Mar 10, 2022

Immigration – BIA erred by not considering murder of asylum applicant’s brother

Where the Honduran native’s first application for asylum was denied as untimely, but he then filed a second application after his brother’s murder, the Board of Immigration Appeals or BIA, erred by refusing to reopen the application. The murder constituted a material change in circumstances. Background Napoleon Garcia Hernandez, a native and citizen of Honduras, […]

Mar 10, 2022

Immigration – Asylum applicant fails to show attacks were based on targeted group

Where the record showed that the asylum applicant was not targeted because of her membership in a particular social group but because the assailant attacked anyone who aided his former wife, the asylum claim was denied. Background Veronica Toledo-Vasquez petitions this court to review an order from the Board of Immigration Appeals or BIA, denying […]

Feb 22, 2022

Immigration – BIA erred when it interpreted ‘unambiguous’ rule

Where a regulation requires the Department of Homeland Security or DHS, to notify an applicant of the need to provide biometrics, such as photographs and fingerprints; provide the applicant with a biometrics notice and provide instructions for producing biometrics, the Board of Immigration Appeals, or BIA, erred when it interpreted the regulation in a way […]

Feb 11, 2022

Immigration – Deferential standard of review rejected

In an issue of first impression, where the government argued that the immigration judge’s decision should be upheld so long as it was based on a “facially legitimate and bona fide reason,” the court joined two circuits in rejecting this argument. That standard was developed in a limited setting of denying visas and does not […]

Jan 11, 2022

Immigration – ‘Prosecution witnesses’ is not a particular social group

Where a Honduran man argued that he should not be removed from the United States because his status as a “prosecution witness” would result in threats to his life or freedom in Honduras, the claim failed because that social group was not sufficiently particular. Background Walter Rolando Herrera-Martinez petitions this court for review of the […]

Dec 14, 2021

Immigration – Applicant granted remand order not entitled to attorneys’ fees

Where a district court directed the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, to adjudicate the plaintiff’s naturalization application within 45 days and retained jurisdiction to hear the case if the agency failed to comply, the plaintiff did not qualify as a prevailing party because the remand order was not a judgment on the merits […]

Dec 7, 2021

Immigration – BIA’s interpretation of ambiguous phrase given deference

Where the term “relating to obstruction of justice” is ambiguous about whether an ongoing or a reasonably foreseeable proceeding must be obstructed, the court deferred to the reasonable interpretation of the Board of Immigration Appeals, or BIA. Background Jean Francois Pugin was found guilty of being an accessory after the fact under Virginia law. The […]

Oct 27, 2021

Immigration – AG Sessions’ opinion on authority of immigration judges abrogated

Where former U.S. Attorney General Sessions opined that immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals, or BIA, lack authority to administratively close cases, but his opinion was at odds with the plain meaning of the regulations and the government has since disavowed it, Sessions’ opinion is abrogated. Background In August 2016, Javier Chavez Gonzalez […]

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