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CA10 on Jurisdiction: Mukantagara v. DHS

May 17, 2023 (1 min read)

Mukantagara v. DHS

"Congress set forth a comprehensive scheme for judicial review of removal orders in 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(9). This statute bars review of claims arising from actions or proceedings brought to remove an alien. But the Supreme Court has told us this statute is narrow and has cautioned us not to engage in broad readings of § 1252(b)(9)’s jurisdictional provisions. Plaintiff Agnes Mukantagara, and her son, Plaintiff Ebenezer Shyaka, challenged an unfavorable United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) decision on refugee status. Meanwhile, the government began separate removal proceedings. The district court determined it lacked jurisdiction over the refugee status appeal because of § 1252(b)(9). But the district court read the statute too expansively. Exercising jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we reverse and remand. ... Plaintiffs do not challenge their removal proceedings. Rather, they challenge USCIS’s determination to terminate refugee status. USCIS’s decision “is not a decision to ‘commence proceedings,’ much less to ‘adjudicate’ a case or ‘execute’ a removal order.” Regents, 140 S. Ct. at 1907. Put simply, it does not arise from any action taken or proceeding brought to remove an alien from the United States. Thus “the zipper clause’s channeling function has no role to play” and it does not bar Plaintiffs’ challenge. Canal A Media Holding, 964 F.3d at 1257. REVERSED AND REMANDED."

[Hats way off to Daniel Black and Marti Jones!]