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Immigration Law

CA9 on Due Process: Grigoryan v. Barr

Grigoryan v. Barr

"Our government granted asylum to Karen Grigoryan (“Petitioner”), his wife, and two of their children (collectively, the “Grigoryans”) in 2001. Beginning in 2005, the Grigoryans were subjected to a protracted immigration ordeal triggered by the government’s allegations of fraud in Petitioner’s asylum application. The Grigoryans’ bureaucratic nightmare culminated when, after they had resided in the United States for nearly fourteen years, an immigration judge (“IJ”) terminated their asylum status, denied their renewed requests for deportation relief, and ordered them removed to Armenia. The IJ terminated the Grigoryans’ asylum status by relying almost exclusively on a single-page “report” introduced by the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) that purportedly revealed that Petitioner’s original asylum application contained fraudulent documents. Although the Grigoryans were not allowed to examine any of the documents or the individuals referred to in the report, they ultimately proved that half of the fraud allegations in the report were unfounded. The IJ also relied on adverse credibility findings entered against Petitioner at an earlier hearing that never should have taken place. The question before us is whether, in light of this series of missteps, the agency erred in terminating the Grigoryans’ asylum status. We have jurisdiction over the Grigoryans’ petition for review pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We hold that the government violated the Grigoryans’ due process rights by failing to provide them a full and fair opportunity to rebut the government’s fraud allegations at the termination hearing. We therefore grant the petition, vacate the decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) and the IJ’s order of deportation, and remand to the BIA for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

[Hats off to Catalina Gracia and Areg Kazaryan!]