CA5 on Terrorist Activity Asylum/AOS Bar: Amrollah v. Napolitano

CA5 on Terrorist Activity Asylum/AOS Bar: Amrollah v. Napolitano

"The government denied Amrollah’s application for permanent resident status after it concluded that Amrollah had engaged in terrorist activity under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)(iv)(VI)(dd) (2010) by providing material support to a Tier III terrorist organization or the member of such an organization.  Amrollah argues that the government was collaterally estopped from finding that he engaged in terrorist activity under this statute, because his grant of asylum necessarily included a determination that he did not provide material support to a terrorist organization or member of such organization.  We agree.  A final decision by an immigration judge has a preclusive effect on future litigation and agency decisions. ... Under a plain reading of the text of the statute and the facts of this case, the IJ’s 1999 finding that Amrollah did not provide material support to any “individual” or “organization” in conducting a terrorist activity has a preclusive effect against a subsequent finding that Amrollah provided material support to “a group of two or more individuals” engaged in terrorist activity. The government has provided this court with no reason, whether by legislative history or any other source, to reject this reading.  Because the government has not demonstrated a significant change in the law between 1999 and 2010 as applied to Amrollah’s petition for permanent resident status, USCIS is collaterally estopped from concluding that Amrollah is ineligible for an adjustment to permanent resident status on the basis of his provision of support to the mujahedeen movement.  USCIS’s denial of Amrollah’s application is set aside under 5 U.S.C. § 706.  CONCLUSION  We REVERSE the decision of the district court granting summary judgment to defendants, RENDER summary judgment for Amrollah, and REMAND this case to the agency for proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion." - Amrollah v. Napolitano, Mar. 4, 2013.

Audio of the oral argument here.

[Note: The alleged 'material support' in this case was provision of medical supplies, prescription medications and bandages.]

Hats off to Lance Curtright!