Immigration Law

CA11 on Waiver Authority: Meridor v. U.S. Attorney General

Meridor v. U.S. Attorney General - "Finest Meridor, a native and citizen of Haiti, seeks review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) final order of removal. That order vacated the order of an immigration judge (IJ), which had granted Meridor a waiver of inadmissibility in his pursuit of a U visa. The BIA found that IJs did not have authority to grant such a waiver, and, even if they did, on the merits Meridor was not entitled to one. On appeal, Meridor argues that the plain language of 8 U.S.C. § 1182(d)(3)(A) gives IJs authority to grant waivers of inadmissibility. Meridor further argues that the BIA engaged in legal error in reaching its alternative holding that he did not merit a waiver. Because the plain language of § 1182(d)(3)(A) does grant authority to IJs to issue waivers of inadmissibility, and because the BIA committed legal error in reaching its alternative holding on the merits, we grant the petition to review the final removal order, vacate it, and remand for further proceedings. On remand, the BIA must reconsider its final order of removal, the IJ’s grant of a waiver of inadmissibility to Meridor pursuant to this plain language and the prohibition on de novo fact finding in its review of the IJ’s opinion."

[Hats off to appointed counsel, Robert M. Bernstein and Erin E. Murphy!]