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BIA Badly Bungles Frentescu Stress Test: Dor v. Garland

August 20, 2022 (1 min read)

Dor v. Garland

"Petitioner, Jonalson Dor ("Dor"), seeks judicial review of a Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") decision affirming an immigration judge's ("IJ") decision to deny Dor's applications for relief from removal based on two marijuana offenses that the IJ and BIA found, for different reasons, to be "particularly serious" pursuant to 8 U.S.C. §§ 1158(b)(2)(A)(ii) and 1231(b)(3)(B)(ii). Before us, Dor argues that the BIA failed to conduct the appropriate analysis to reach its particularly-serious-crime conclusion. The government urges that we shouldn't even reach Dor's substantive challenges due to his petition's jurisdictional defects, but even if we can find our way to the merits, the government maintains the BIA's decision was correct. We find we have jurisdiction to review the petition. And, having undertaken that review, we remand to the BIA for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. ... Bottom line: The BIA's particularly-serious-crime conclusion is devoid of any actual application of the Frentescu factors, and even if we considered it a solid application of the law to Dor's case, we still do not have a sufficiently rational explanation of the BIA's particularly-serious-crime conclusion as to Dor's minor marijuana offenses, and a rational explanation is necessary to ensure Dor was appropriately precluded from obtaining the humanitarian relief he seeks. ... For the foregoing reasons, we grant Dor's petition and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

[Please read every word of this delicious decision.  Hats off to Edward Crane, with whom Philip L. Torrey, Crimmigration Clinic, Harvard Law School, Shaiba Rather, Lena Melillo, and Katie Quigley, Law Student Advocates, Crimmigration Clinic, Harvard Law School, were on brief!  The audio recording of the oral argument is here.]