Immigration Law

Recent Posts

Advocates Welcome New BIA Member Andrea Saenz!
Posted on 14 Oct 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

EOIR, Oct. 14, 2021 - "The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) today announced the appointment of Andrea Saenz as a Member of EOIR’s Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Attorney General Merrick B. Garland’s appointment of Appellate... Read More

FOIA Sensei Matthew Hoppock Scores Again!
Posted on 12 Oct 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matthew Hoppock, Oct. 12, 2021 Here Are the BIA Chairman’s Memos From 2004 to 2018 Obtained Through FOIA "For the last four years, we’ve been using the Freedom of Information Act to request records describing the policies and procedures... Read More

Tags: bia , FOIA

BIA Amicus Brief Invitation - Modified Categorical Approach, Pereida, Evidence
Posted on 30 Sep 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

BIA, Sept. 30, 2021 "Amicus Invitation No. 21-30-09 AMICUS INVITATION, Due Date: October 21, 2021 September 30, 2021 The Board of Immigration Appeals welcomes interested members of the public to file amicus curiae briefs discussing the below... Read More

EOIR Announces New Format for BIA Unpublished Decisions
Posted on 9 Aug 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

EOIR, Aug. 9, 2021 "The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announces that effective today, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) will begin transitioning to a new format for unpublished decisions. The new format is similar to that... Read More

Tags: bia , eoir

Garland Vacates Matter of A-C-A-A-
Posted on 26 Jul 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of A-C-A-A-, 28 I&N Dec. 351 (A.G. 2021) (1) Matter of A-C-A-A-, 28 I&N Dec. 84 (A.G. 2020) (“A-C-A-A- I”), is vacated in its entirety. Immigration judges and the Board should no longer follow A-C-A-A- I in pending or future... Read More

Tags: bia , eoir , garland

BIA Seeks Amicus Briefs on NTAs After Niz-Chavez (Due Aug. 10, 2021)
Posted on 20 Jul 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

BIA, July 20, 2021 "Amicus Invitation No. 21-20-07 AMICUS INVITATION (Notice to Appear), Due Date: August 10, 2021 July 20, 2021 The Board of Immigration Appeals welcomes interested members of the public to file amicus curiae briefs discussing... Read More

EOIR PM on Enforcement Priorities (June 11, 2021)
Posted on 11 Jun 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

EOIR, June 11, 2021 "... Immigration judges should be prepared to inquire, on the record, of the parties appearing before them at scheduled hearings as to whether the case remains a removal priority for ICE and whether ICE intends to exercise some... Read More

Former Immigration Judges Ask Garland to Review/Rescind Trump-Era AG Certs
Posted on 25 May 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Round Table of Former Immigration Judges, May 25, 2021 "We, the Round Table of Former Immigration Judges, are a group of former Immigration Judges and appellate-level judges of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Relying on our combined centuries... Read More

Tags: bia , eoir , garland

Advocates: Garland Must Review EOIR Personnel and Install New Leadership
Posted on 20 May 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Letter dated May 19, 2021 "To Attorney General Garland and Deputy Attorney General Monaco: We, the undersigned immigration, civil rights, human rights, and democracy protection organizations, are deeply concerned that politically motivated personnel... Read More

Tags: bia , eoir , garland

EOIR Cancels PM 20-01 (Case Processing)
Posted on 18 Mar 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

EOIR, Mar. 17, 2021 "As part of EOIR’s ongoing efforts to improve operations and review existing policy memoranda, the following Policy Memorandum (PM) is rescinded: 1. PM 20-01, Case Processing at the Board of Immigration Appeals PM 20-01... Read More

BIA Seeks Amicus Briefs on Divisibility of Iowa Theft Statute
Posted on 16 Mar 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

BIA, Mar. 15, 2021 "Amicus Invitation No. 21-15-03 AMICUS INVITATION (Divisibility of Iowa’s Theft Statute) Due Date: April 14, 2021 March 15, 2021 The Board of Immigration Appeals welcomes interested members of the public to file amicus... Read More

Major FOIA Victory at CA2: NYLAG v. BIA
Posted on 5 Feb 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

NYLAG v. BIA "Plaintiff-Appellant New York Legal Assistance Group (“NYLAG”) seeks access to non-precedential “unpublished opinions” issued by Defendant-Appellee the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) in immigration... Read More

Tags: bia , FOIA , eoir

BIA on Divisibility, Elements, Means: Matter of Dikhtyar, 28 I&N Dec. 214 (BIA 2021)
Posted on 22 Jan 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of Dikhtyar, 28 I&N Dec. 214 (BIA 2021) - Section 58-37-8(2)(a)(i) of the Utah Code, which criminalizes possession or use of a controlled substance, is divisible with respect to the identity of the specific “controlled substance”... Read More

Matter of Rivera-Mendoza, 28 I&N Dec. 184 (BIA 2020)
Posted on 22 Dec 2020 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of Rivera-Mendoza, 28 I&N Dec. 184 (BIA 2020) The risk of harm to a child required to obtain a conviction for child neglect in the second degree under section 163.545(1) of the Oregon Revised Statutes is sufficiently high that the offense... Read More

BIA on Expert Witnesses: Matter of M-A-M-Z-, 28 I&N Dec. 173
Posted on 17 Dec 2020 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of M-A-M-Z-, 28 I&N Dec. 173 (BIA 2020) (1) Expert testimony is evidence, but only an Immigration Judge makes factual findings. (2) When the Immigration Judge makes a factual finding that is not consistent with an expert’s opinion... Read More

Tags: experts , bia
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: MATTER OF N-T- AS PROGENY OF MATTER OF A-T-: A TEACHING TOOL FOR FGM CASES

    "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...