Immigration Law

Recent Posts

Immigration Officials Use Secretive Gang Databases to Deny Migrant Asylum Claims
Posted on 9 Jul 2019 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Melissa del Bosque, ProPublica, July 8, 2019 "With scant public notice, federal immigration officials are relying on databases run by foreign police and militaries to check whether migrants crossing the United States border have gang affiliations... Read More

Limited Discovery in Consular Processing Litigation: Muñoz v. U.S. Dept. of State
Posted on 17 Apr 2019 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Merle Kahn writes: "The District Court for the Central District of California granted a discovery request in a consular processing case. [ Muñoz v. U.S. Dept. of State ] Generally, when I think about consular processing, I just think about... Read More

CA4 on Honduras, MS-13, Nexus - Salgado-Sosa v. Sessions
Posted on 19 Feb 2018 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Salgado-Sosa v. Sessions, Feb. 13, 2018 - "Reynaldo Salgado-Sosa, a native and citizen of Honduras, seeks asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. If he is returned to Honduras, he fears, he will face persecution... Read More

CA4 on Asylum, El Salvador, MS-13, Mara 18: Aquino Cordova v. Holder
Posted on 18 Jul 2014 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"Aquino offered evidence that MS-13 subsequently killed his cousin, Vidal, and had previously killed his uncle, both of whom were members of Mara 18. We cannot agree with the Government’s characterization of this evidence as describing nothing... Read More

CA9 on Jurisdiction ("A Trap for the Unwary") - Martinez v. Sessions
Posted on 20 Jul 2017 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Martinez v. Sessions, July 20, 2017 - "In this case, a removed alien challenges a reinstated removal order by claiming that he has a reasonable fear of being persecuted in his home country of El Salvador. An asylum officer interviewed the alien and... Read More

CA4 on Social Group, Former (MS-13) Gang Membership: Martinez v. Holder
Posted on 23 Jan 2014 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"[W]e conclude that the BIA erred as a matter of law in its interpretation of the phrase “particular social group” by holding that former gang membership is not an immutable characteristic of a particular social group for purposes of... Read More

Asylum Victory in Arlington: El Salvador, MS-13, Social Group
Posted on 3 Sep 2012 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Attorney Jean C. Han writes: "Attached please find a redacted opinion by Judge Schmidt in Arlington in a gang-related asylum case from June 12, 2012. He found that my client would more likely than not be persecuted on account of MS-13 if she were... Read More

IJ Asylum Victory; El Salvador; Resistance to MS-13
Posted on 5 Nov 2012 by Daniel M. Kowalski

"The Court finds that the government of El Salvador is unable to control the MS-13. ... The Court finds that in light of the small size of El Salvador, the strength of the MS-13, and the fact that Respondent's religious proselytizing in El Salvador... Read More

CA4 on Persecution, MS-13, El Salvador: Zavaleta Policiano v. Sessions
Posted on 15 Sep 2017 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Zavaleta Policiano v. Sessions - "[T]he IJ and BIA failed to appreciate, or even address, critical evidence in the record. ... we conclude that the BIA erred by affirming the IJ’s clearly erroneous finding. Zavaleta Policiano was not required... Read More