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The INA creates a special visa-application process for aliens sponsored by “immediate relatives” in the United States. 8 U.S.C.S. §§ 1151(b), 1153(a). If and when a petition is approved, the alien may apply for a visa by submitting the required documents and appearing at a United States Embassy or consulate for an interview. 8 U.S.C.S. §§ 1201(a)(1), 1202. One ground for inadmissibility, 8 U.S.C.S. § 1182(a)(3)(B), covers “terrorist activities.” In addition to the violent and destructive acts the term immediately brings to mind, the INA defines “terrorist activity” to include providing material support to a terrorist organization and serving as a terrorist organization’s representative. 8 U.S.C.S. § 1182(a)(3)(B)(i), (iii)-(vi).
Respondent Fauzia Din petitioned to have her husband, Kanishka Berashk, a resident citizen of Afghanistan and former civil servant in the Taliban regime, classified as an “immediate relative” entitled to priority immigration status. Din's petition was approved, but Berashk's visa application was ultimately denied. A consular officer informed Berashk that he was inadmissible under §1182(a)(3)(B), which excludes aliens who have engaged in terrorist activities, but the officer provided no further information. Unable to obtain a more detailed explanation for Berashk's visa denial, Din filed suit in Federal District Court, which dismissed her complaint. The Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that Din had a protected liberty interest in her marriage that entitled her to review of the denial of Berashk's visa. It further held that the Government deprived her of that liberty interest without due process when it denied Berashk's visa application without providing a more detailed explanation of its reasons.
Did the Court of Appeals err in its judgment holding that Din had a protected liberty interest in her marriage that entitled her to review of the denial of Berashk's visa?
The Court held that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit erred when it found that a naturalized U.S. citizen had a protected liberty interest in her marriage that entitled her to seek judicial review of a consular officer's decision denying her husband's application for a visa because he was a former civil servant in the Taliban regime. Under a historical understanding of the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause, the citizen could not claim that the denial of her husband's application for a visa deprived her of life, liberty, or property, or there was no need to decide whether the U.S. citizen had a protected liberty interest because the notice she received satisfied due process.