CA2 on Statelessness, Motions to Reopen: Jourbina v. Holder (Unpub.)

CA2 on Statelessness, Motions to Reopen: Jourbina v. Holder (Unpub.)

C. Mario Russell writes: "I am delighted to report that a stateless family’s petition for review to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals was granted and the decision of the BIA denying a motion to reopen vacated. Jourbina v. Holder 11-1540 (2CA 2013)(attached). The Jourbina family was made stateless by the Republic of Kazakhstan, who stripped them of their citizenship in 2009. After being detained by ICE, and with present counsel, the Jourbinas had sought to reopen their 1999 removal proceedings (removal order) by motion to the BIA on changed country conditions under 8 USC 1229a(c)(7)(C)(ii), arguing that their citizenship had been pretextually revoked on account of their status as Christian, Russian, and non-ethnically Kazakh minorities. The BIA denied the Jourbinas’ motion, holding that they had “induced” the change in circumstances by failing to abide by Kazakh immigration/citizenship registration requirements while in the United States in the 1990’s.

 The Second Circuit considered briefing and oral argument and by summary order agreed fully with the petitioners’ position that the BIA failed to consider their claim that the revocation was pretextual (and therefore not self induced) and that they had presented prima facie claims of persecution on account of their minority status and as stateless, non-Kazakh persons.
Special congratulations go to Jodi Ziesemer (New York Law School(4L)/Catholic Charities), who drafted the opening and reply briefs and to Brett Stark (Equal Justice Works fellow/Catholic Charities) and Sharmila Vialva (St. John’s Law Immigration Litigation Clinic (3L)), who prepared/mooted with me extensively for oral argument." 
C. Mario Russell
Senior Attorney / Adjunct Professor
Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services
St. John's University School of Law/New York Law School
Refugee and Immigrant Rights Clinic
1011 First Avenue, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10022
212.419.3771 (T)
212.751.3197 (F)
mario.russell@archny.org