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Immigration Law

CA9, En Banc, on Derivative Citizenship: Cheneau v. Garland

Cheneau v. Garland

"We voted to rehear this case en banc to consider the requirements for two different pathways by which a child of a naturalized citizen parent can derive U.S. citizenship under former 8 U.S.C. § 1432(a)(5) (1994) (repealed 2000). Under the first pathway, a child “residing in the United States pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence at the time of the naturalization of the parent” is eligible for derivative citizenship; under the second, a child is eligible who “thereafter begins to reside permanently in the United States while under the age of eighteen years.” Id. A three-judge panel of this court previously interpreted this statute, holding that both pathways required the child to have lawful permanent resident status. See Romero-Ruiz v. Mukasey, 538 F.3d 1057, 1062–63 (9th Cir. 2008). In reexamining Romero-Ruiz, we nowconclude that the phrase “or thereafter begins to reside permanently in the United States,” 8 U.S.C. § 1432(a)(5), does not require that the child have necessarily been granted lawful permanent residency, although the child must have demonstrated an objective official manifestation of permanent residence. With this clarification, we remand this case to its three-judge panel so that the panel may, in its discretion, apply the revised rule to this case."

[Hats off to Kari E. Hong, Boston College Law School, Newton, Massachusetts, for Petitioner, Brian P. Goldman and Sachi Schuricht, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, San Francisco, California, for Amici Curiae ACLU of Southern California, Al Otro Lado, Federal Defenders of San Diego Inc., Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel, Margaret Stock, U.C. Davis Immigrant Law Clinic, and Unified U.S. Deported Veterans Resource Center. Sabrineh Ardalan and Philip L. Torrey, Attorneys; George Biashvili, Salah Muhiddin, and Michael Shang, Law Students; Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, Cambridge, Massachusetts; for Amici Curiae Immigration Law Scholars!]