Immigration Law

Recent Posts

BIA, En Banc (9-6) on Pereira, Bermudez-Cota: Matter of Mendoza-Hernandez and Capula-Cortes
Posted on 1 May 2019 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of Mendoza-Hernandez and Capula-Cortes, 27 I&N Dec. 520 (BIA 2019) Board En Banc: NEAL, Chairman; MALPHRUS, WENDTLAND, MULLANE, GREER, MANN, O’CONNOR, LIEBOWITZ, and KELLY, Board Members. Dissenting Opinion: GUENDELSBERGER, joined by... Read More

How the BIA Works
Posted on 25 Apr 2019 by Daniel M. Kowalski

See attorney Matthew Hoppock's Twitter feed and his blog for the results of his FOIA requests revealing fascinating internal BIA documents. Read More

Tags: bia , hoppock , FOIA

A.G. Barr Seeks to Push BIA Final Rule over Finish Line
Posted on 12 Apr 2019 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Tal Kopan, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Bureau, Apr. 12, 2019 "Attorney General William Barr is making his first major moves on immigration policy since his confirmation, setting up big changes for the courts that decide whether immigrants... Read More

Tags: Regulation , barr , bia , eoir , USCIS

CA8 on Remands: Caballero-Martinez v. Barr
Posted on 3 Apr 2019 by Daniel M. Kowalski

ballero-Martinez v. Barr "[W]e ask the BIA to explain its decision not to apply the Sanchez-Sosa factors to Caballero-Martinez’s remand request in its December analysis. In short, we ask the BIA to explain why it ultimately made no difference... Read More

Tags: bia , hoppock , remand

BIA Amicus Briefing Deadlines Extended for Matter of Castillo-Perez, Matter of L-E-A-
Posted on 12 Feb 2019 by Daniel M. Kowalski

DOJ, Jan. 29, 2019, Matter of Castillo-Perez - "Interested amici may submit briefs not exceeding 9,000 words on or before February 25, 2019. The parties may submit reply briefs not exceeding 6,000 words on or before February 25, 2019." DOJ... Read More

Unpub. BIA Pardon Victory in Alabama, Louisiana
Posted on 17 Jan 2019 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Hats off to my associate, Samantha Hechtman , who writes: "Respondent is a native and citizen of Antigua Barbuda. He entered the United States as a lawful permanent resident on January 30, 1988. Respondent was detained by ICE on November 14, 2016... Read More

Jeffrey S. Chase on the Impact of Grace v. Whitaker
Posted on 25 Dec 2018 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Jeffrey S. Chase, Dec. 24, 2018 - "Six months after a significant number of U.S. immigration judges cheered a decision intended to revoke the hard-earned right of domestic violence victims to asylum protection, immigration advocates had their chance... Read More

BIA on Willful Misrepresentation: Matter of A.J. Valdez and Z. Valdez, 27 I&N Dec. 496 (BIA 2018)
Posted on 20 Dec 2018 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of A.J. Valdez and Z. Valdez, 27 I&N Dec. 496 (BIA 2018) (1) An alien makes a willful misrepresentation under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(C)(i) (2012), when he or she knows of... Read More

Did the BIA Edit the Attorney General’s Decision in Matter of Castro-Tum? If So, Does it Matter?
Posted on 2 Nov 2018 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matthew Hoppock, Nov. 2, 2018 - "A series of FOIA requests regarding the Attorney General’s decision in Matter of Castro-Tum seem to have revealed something strange about that decision: it was edited after the Attorney General issued it. ... Read More

BIA on CAT, Torture: Matter of J-R-G-P-, 27 I&N Dec. 482 (BIA 2018)
Posted on 31 Oct 2018 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of J-R-G-P-, 27 I&N Dec. 482 (BIA 2018) - Where the evidence regarding an application for protection under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted and opened for signature Dec. 10... Read More

Matter of Negusie, 27 I&N Dec. 481 (A.G. 2018)
Posted on 19 Oct 2018 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of Negusie, 27 I&N Dec. 481 (A.G. 2018) "Pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 1003.1(h)(1)(i) (2018), I direct the Board of Immigration Appeals (“Board”) to refer this case to me for review of its decision. The Board’s decision... Read More

BIA on UAC Jurisdiction: Matter of M-A-C-O-, 27 I&N Dec. 477 (BIA 2018)
Posted on 17 Oct 2018 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of M-A-C-O-, 27 I&N Dec. 477 (BIA 2018) An Immigration Judge has initial jurisdiction over an asylum application filed by a respondent who was previously determined to be an unaccompanied alien child but who turned 18 before filing the application... Read More

BIA on Maximum Possible Sentence: Matter of Velasquez-Rios, 27 I&N Dec. 470 (BIA 2018)
Posted on 4 Oct 2018 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of Velasquez-Rios, 27 I&N Dec. 470 (BIA 2018) The amendment to section 18.5 of the California Penal Code, which retroactively lowered the maximum possible sentence that could have been imposed for an alien’s State offense from 365 days... Read More

CA3 on Corroboration: Saravia v. Attorney General
Posted on 1 Oct 2018 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Saravia v. Attorney General - "This case concerns the Board of Immigration Appeals’ failure to follow precedent set forth by this Court. ... [W]e remind Immigration Judges in our Circuit that they must follow the requirements of Chukwu. We... Read More

CA9 on Egregious 4th Amendment Violation: Sanchez II
Posted on 19 Sep 2018 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Sanchez v. Sessions, Sept. 19, 2018 - "As Judge Pregerson poignantly described in our prior opinion: “This case is about Luis Sanchez, a small boat owner, who took some friends on a fishing trip within United States territorial waters, and... Read More

  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA MTR Victory: Russia, Homosexuality

    Aaron C. Hall writes: "Our client first applied for asylum in 1992 based on persecution by the KGB in the former Soviet Union on account of his political opinion. His application was denied by the IJ and on appeal by the BIA and the Tenth Circuit. He then filed a Motion to Reopen with the BIA...
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA Remand Victory: Using Martinez v. Mukasey

    "[I]n Martinez v. Mukasey, 519 F.3d 532 (5th Cir. 2008), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reached a different result than that reached by this Board in Matter of Koljenovic, 25 I&N Dec. 219 (BIA 2010) (LJ. at 6-7). The Fifth Circuit determined that the statutory bar on...
  • Blog Post: Unpublished BIA Victory: 212(c), Ineffective Assistance, Mental Capacity

    Jon Eric Garde of Las Vegas recently received good news from the BIA, granting his motion to reopen a case that had last been before the Board in 1998! Matter of Stevens, A035-172-124 - Detroit, Oct. 12, 2011, unpublished .
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA Victory: Mali, FGM, one-year bar

    Prof. Geoffrey A. Hoffman writes: " The UH Immigration Clinic has just won an appeal from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) involving an asylum claim which was denied previously by the Immigration Court here in Houston. The claim was filed by a mother of a family of four. She had suffered...

    "This case will make an interesting teaching example for immigration professors discussing the ramifications of the Attorney General’s precedential decision on female genital mutilation (FGM), Matter of A-T- I&N Dec. 617 (A.G. 2008). In the decision rendered by the BIA on October 14...
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA Remand Victory: AOS, False Claim

    Matthew L. Kolken writes: " Attached is a BIA decision overturning the IJ in Buffalo. He ruled that my client was statutorily ineligible for adjustment due to an alleged false claim to US citizenship that never happened. I moved for recusal during the course of proceedings, which was denied...
  • Blog Post: Seventh Circuit on JRADs, due process, ineffective assistance

    "Jorge Solis-Chavez is a native of Guatemala who has been a lawful permanent resident in the United States since 1980. In 2007 he faced removal as a result of a 1989 Illinois conviction for sexual abuse of a minor. He initially argued that he was not subject to removal because the judge who convicted...
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA Remand Victory: CAT, Mexico, credibility, social group

    "[T]he adverse credibility finding is clearly erroneous inasmuch as it based on minor inconsistencies and improper speculation (Resp. Br. at 15). See Ren v. Holder, 648 F.3d 1 (9th Cir. 2011) (trivial inconsistencies that under total circumstances have no bearing on petitioner's veracity should...
  • Blog Post: Fourth Circuit on evidence: Tassi v. Holder

    "[O]ur analysis of Tassi’s petition for review exposes several categories of error. For example, the IJ contravened the principle that corroborative evidence supporting an asylum application cannot be rejected solely because it does not strictly comport with the rules of evidence or because...
  • Blog Post: New BIA Member Appointed

    "The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) today announced that Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Ana Landazabal Mann to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Ms. Mann will begin work as a board member on November 21, 2011." - EOIR, Nov. 15, 2011 .
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA Victory: child abuse

    Attorney Aaron Tarin writes: " Here is a bit of good news to those battling the toxic spread of Matter of Soram 's expansive definition of child abuse. [In an unpublished decision dated Dec. 6, 2011 ] the Board held that Assault with Substantial Bodily Injury in the Presence of a Child...
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA mental competency remand victory

    "[A] remand is appropriate to enable the parties to apply the framework set out in Matter of M-A-M-, supra, including consideration of whether the respondent has a mental illness that impacted her credibility at the hearing." - Matter of X-, Oct. 5, 2011 . [Hats off to Rachel Gore Freed at...
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA asylum remand victory: arrest warrant as pretext

    "On appeal, the respondent argues that the arrest warrant issued against him is a pretext for political persecution. See Long v. Holder 620 F3d 162, 166 (2nd Cir. 2010) (noting that prosecution that is pretext for political persecution is not on account of law enforcement); Matter of Sibrun, 18...
  • Blog Post: What the BIA is reading

    Here's a link to the Nov-Dec 2011 issue (Vol. 5, No. 10) of the Immigration Law Advisor , published by EOIR.
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA Cancellation Victory

    Jose Quintero of Catholic Charities, Miami, won this recent victory at the BIA. Bravo! "[W]e conclude that the respondent warrants cancellation of removal as a matter of discretion. In finding that the respondent did not merit a favorable exercise of discretion, the Immigration Judge properly considered...
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA Visa Petition Victory: MTF Transgender Married to USC Male

    "Having considered the unique circumstances of this case, we find that, while it does not mirror the factual scenario of Matter of Lovo , supra, it is a variation of our finding in that case. ... [W]e find that the petitioner and the beneficiary have a "monogamous, heterosexual marriage."...
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA Waiver Victory: 'Otherwise Admissible'

    Russell R. Abrutyn writes: "Although there were a number of issues in this case, the primary issue was whether the noncitizen, who married a few days before immigrating as the child of a DV winner, was eligible for a 237(a)(1)(H) waiver. The Immigration Judge and, initially, the BIA held ...
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA Res Judicata Victory: Gaytan-Castro

    "We agree with the Immigration Judge that the present removal proceedings are barred under the doctrine of res judicata even if the respondent was erroneously granted adjustment of status in the prior proceedings. ... Although the instant proceedings are based on a different charge of removability...
  • Blog Post: BIA on divisibility: Matter of Lanferman, ID 3744, 25 I&N Dec. 721 (BIA 2012)

    Matter of Lanferman, ID 3744, 25 I&N Dec. 721 (BIA 2012) - A criminal statute is divisible, regardless of its structure, if, based on the elements of the offense, some but not all violations of the statute give rise to grounds for removal or ineligibility for relief.
  • Blog Post: David Neal new BIA Chairman; Robin Stutman new CAHO

    "The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced today that the Attorney General has appointed a new Chairman of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Effective March 26, 2012, David L. Neal, previously Vice Chairman of the BIA, will serve the agency as Chairman. Mr. Neal...
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA 'Extreme Cruelty' Victory: Matter of A-L-M-

    "The principal question on remand is whether the respondent remains eligible for special rule cancellation of removal despite the death of her daughter. We find that she does." - Matter of A-L-M-, Mar. 5, 2012, unpub . Hats off to Katherine Barrett Wiik, National Network to End Violence...
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA Asylum Victory; Egypt, Persecution, 'Unreasonable Expectations'

    David L. Cleveland writes: "An asylum applicant from Egypt suffered real harm, including an assault by an unidentified man that left her unconscious, but was denied by the IJ for failing to show the motive of her attacker. The BIA said that the IJ "may have imposed an unreasonable expectation...
  • Blog Post: Matter of A-Y-M-, ID 3750, 25 I&N Dec. 791 (BIA 2012)

    Matter of A-Y-M-, ID 3750, 25 I&N Dec. 791 (BIA 2012) - Following the enactment of the Child Status Protection Act, Pub. L. No. 107-208, 116 Stat. 927 (2002), an unmarried alien seeking derivative asylum status based on the approval of his or her parent’s application for asylum who turned 21...
  • Blog Post: Searching for that Unpub. BIA Case?

    A reader writes: "I would be very grateful if you could locate and transmit to me copies of two unreported Board cases cited at page 359 of the March 15, 2007 BIB: Matter of Mitter , A73-767-969 (BIA July 20, 2006) and Matter of Lee , A79-626-439 (BIA Apr. 12, 2006)." I used the "Search"...
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA Marriage Fraud Victory: Matter of Kagau

    "While the Notice Of Intent to Deny ("NOID") the previous visa petition questioned the validity of the underlying marriage and referenced the fraud provision under section 204(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.c. § 1154(c), neither the NOID nor the subsequent Field...