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Unpub. CA10 Habeas / Jurisdiction Victory: Musau v. Carlson

October 18, 2012 (1 min read)

"On appeal, Mr. Musau reiterates that he has no means, other than his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, by which to enforce his rights under the CATOC.  He appears to be correct, at least at present, insofar as immigration tribunals are concerned.  IJs and the BIA have no authority to grant any relief to an alien unless and until the Attorney General promulgates regulations granting them such authority. ... The government has not identified any statute or regulation authorizing an IJ or the BIA to recognize or enforce rights under the CATOC, and we are not aware of any.  For the same reasons, we reject the government’s arguments that Mr. Musau failed to exhaust available remedies before immigration tribunals; there apparently was nothing to exhaust.  If the CATOC creates any rights to which Mr. Musau is entitled, wholly discretionary relief from the Attorney General or his delegates would be insufficient; “mercy” does not protect rights." - Musau v. Carlson, Oct. 17, 2012.  [Hats off to Matthew L. Hoppock!  Note: Having lived (and litigated) through the bruising 'court-stripping' jurisdiction wars of the early post-IIRAIRA era, this case nearly gave me a panic attack.]