Immigration Law

CA2 on Derivative Citizenship: Khalid v. Sessions

Khalid v. Sessions - "Petitioner Mohammed Hassan Faizan Khalid petitions for review of a September 14, 2016, decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming an immigration judge’s (IJ) order of removal. The Department of Homeland Security instituted removal proceedings against Khalid after he was convicted of conspiring to provide material support for terrorism in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339A. Khalid moved to terminate his removal proceedings, contending that he derivatively acquired citizenship from his U.S. citizen father. At the time Khalid’s father became a U.S. citizen, Khalid had recently entered federal pretrial juvenile detention for terrorism‐related charges, and remained there for the short time until his eighteenth birthday. As a result, the IJ and BIA concluded that Khalid was not in the “physical custody” of his U.S. citizen parent before his eighteenth birthday, as required by the applicable derivative naturalization statute, 8 U.S.C. § 1431(a). We hold that the short, temporary physical separation caused by Khalid’s time in federal pretrial juvenile detention did not strip Khalid’s father of his “physical custody” of Khalid as that term is used in 8 U.S.C. § 1431(a), and that consequently, Khalid is a U.S. citizen. Accordingly, we GRANT the petition for review, VACATE the BIA’s decision, and REMAND with instructions to terminate Khalid’s removal proceedings."

[Hats off to Wayne Sachs and amici!]