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Matter of Siahaan, Feb. 23, 2022
"Upon our review, we are satisfied that the respondents exercised reasonable diligence in pursuing their claim. See Lawrence v. Lynch, 826 F.3d at 203-04; Kuusk v. Holder, 732 F.3d at 305-06. They have provided evidence indicating that in 2004, while their proceedings were open and their appeal was pending before the Board, their United States citizen child was born (Respondents' Mot., Tab L). Their former counsel, however, did not file a motion to remand or a motion to reopen proceedings in light of this new potentially available relief or otherwise inform them of the possibility of pursuing such motions. Rather, the respondents assert after their petition for review was denied by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in February 2006, their former counsel "disappeared" and they were unable to get in contact with him (Respondents' Mot., Tab G). They have provided evidence indicating that he was disbarred in November 2008 for, among other things, failure to represent clients promptly and with reasonable diligence and failure to communicate with his clients (Respondents' Mot., Tabs R-T). Additionally, the respondents assert that despite informing immigration officials of their intent to get a new attorney and "sort out [their] case," ICE officials told them that they were not priorities for deportation and there was nothing more they could do with respect to their case (Respondents' Mot., Tab G). Accordingly, under these circumstances, we will equitably toll the filing deadline for the respondents' motion to reopen."
[Hats off to Elsy M. Ramos Velasquez!]