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CA6 on Exceptional Circumstances: E.A.C.A. v. Rosen

January 12, 2021 (1 min read)

E.A.C.A. v. Rosen

"[W]e conclude that the BIA abused its discretion by denying E.A.’s motion to reopen. E.A.’s mother’s recent childbirth is a serious medical event, which coupled with E.A.’s minor age, her difficulty obtaining transportation, and her difficulty navigating the immigration system without assistance, constitute “exceptional circumstances” necessitating rescission of the in absentia removal order. ... The BIA’s decision was also contrary to law, and therefore an abuse of discretion. ... First, the BIA improperly considered E.A.’s age separately, rather than considering age alongside other factors, when determining that she had not shown that exceptional circumstances justified her failure to appear. Second, the BIA erred when it dismissed without adequate explanation E.A.’s evidence that she is eligible for SIJS. Finally, the BIA improperly stated that E.A. was required to present prima facie evidence that she was eligible for immigration relief as part of her motion to reopen. ... For the foregoing reasons, we GRANT the petition for review, VACATE the removal order, and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

[Hats way off to Rachel NaggarHere is a link to the audio of the oral argument.]