Immigration Law

Remarkable Pro Se CA5 Victory: Okpala v. Whitaker (denaturalization; relation-back)

Okpala v. Whitaker - "Petitioner Okey Garry Okpala [pro se]requests review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) affirming the immigration judge’s (“IJ”) deportation order. Because the BIA erred in construing 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) to apply to an individual who was a naturalized citizen at the time of conviction, we grant the petition for review and vacate the BIA’s deportation order. ... Okpala contends that the BIA erred in construing 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) to apply to him because he was a naturalized citizen at the time of his convictions. We agree. ... [W]e conclude that Okpala was not rendered an “alien” at the time of conviction by nature of his subsequent ab initio denaturalization. Consequently, Okpala is not subject to deportation under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) because he was a naturalized citizen at the time he was convicted. ...  [W]e grant petition for review and vacate the deportation order."