Immigration Law

Recent Posts

ICE Directive Regarding Incompetent Detained Individuals (Apr. 5, 2022)
Posted on 12 Apr 2022 by Daniel M. Kowalski

ICE, Apr. 5, 2022 Identification, Communication, Recordkeeping, and Safe Release Planning for Detained Individuals with Serious Mental Disorders or Conditions and/or Who Are Determined To Be Incompetent By An Immigration Judge Read More

CA2 on Competency, Credibility: K.O. v. Garland (unpub.)
Posted on 23 May 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

K.O. v. Garland (unpub.) "The record evidence in this case shows that K.O. had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression, and was prescribed medication for PTSD while in immigration custody. ... K.O. urged... Read More

CA9 on Competence Evaluations: Calderon v. Sessions
Posted on 3 Jan 2018 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Calderon v. Sessions, Jan. 3, 2018 - Court Staff Summary: "The panel granted Henri Calderon-Rodriguez’s petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decision, concluding that the Board in two related ways abused its discretion... Read More

BIA Provides Safeguards for Asylum Applicants With Diminished Capacity - Cyrus D. Mehta
Posted on 8 Sep 2015 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Cyrus D. Mehta, Sept. 4, 2015 - " The Board of Immigration Appeal’s decision in Matter of J-R-R-A- , 26 I&N Dec. 609 (BIA 2015) is a milestone decision in protecting an asylum applicant who presented competency issues that were not appropriately... Read More

Court Sets Competency Protocol for Immigrant Detainees
Posted on 4 Nov 2014 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"The federal government has 90 days to implement court-ordered procedures that for the first time would screen undocumented immigrant detainees for mental competency. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee, who ruled in a class action last year that mentally... Read More

Competency Decision in Immigration Court - Julia McLawsen, Ph.D.
Posted on 5 Jul 2016 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Julia McLawsen, July 1, 2016 - "Immigration law recognizes that a foreign national must be competent to face removal (i.e., deportation) proceedings. When a respondent lacks competence, however, proceedings do not cease. Rather, the immigration judge... Read More

CA9 on Mental Competency, Procedural Safeguards - Campos Mejia v. Sessions
Posted on 29 Aug 2017 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Campos-Mejia v. Sessions, Aug. 29, 2017 - "On review, the BIA noted that Petitioner suffers from serious mental illness and “was feeling unwell without his medication” during the proceedings before the IJ. Nonetheless, the BIA concluded... Read More

Unpub. BIA Competency Victory: Matter of Y-C-
Posted on 20 May 2012 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appeals from the April 8, 2011, decision of an Immigration Judge terminating proceedings. On appeal, the DHS argues that the Immigration Judge erred by terminating proceedings because the DHS failed to establish... Read More

BIA on Competency: Matter of J-S-S-, 26 I&N Dec. 679 (BIA 2015)
Posted on 3 Nov 2015 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of J-S-S-, 26 I&N Dec. 679 (BIA 2015) (1) Neither party bears a formal burden of proof in immigration proceedings to establish whether or not the respondent is mentally competent, but where indicia of incompetency are identified, the Immigration... Read More

Tags: competency , bia , j-s-s-

Mental Competency Issues in Immigration Practice: Cyrus D. Mehta
Posted on 25 May 2014 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"It is already hard enough for an immigration lawyer to represent a foreign national client in an immigration proceeding, given the language and other cultural barriers, along with the fact that immigration law can be extremely complex and unforgiving... Read More

BIA on Competency, Asylum - Matter of J-R-R-A-
Posted on 11 Jun 2015 by Daniel M. Kowalski

OFFICIAL HEADNOTE : If an applicant for asylum has competency issues that affect the reliability of his testimony, the Immigration Judge should, as a safeguard, generally accept his fear of harm as subjectively genuine based on the applicant’s perception... Read More

Tags: competency , bia , asylum

Unpub. BIA mental competency remand victory
Posted on 21 Dec 2011 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"[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-... Read More