Justia U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Immigration Law
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Various states, municipalities, and organizations filed suit seeking a preliminary injunction against the implementation of DHS's Final Rule, which redefined the term "public charge" to require consideration of not only cash benefits, but also certain non-cash benefits. Under the Final Rule, an alien is a public charge if they receive one or more public benefits, including cash and non-cash benefits such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Section 8 housing assistance, Section 8 project-based rental assistance, Medicaid (with certain exceptions), and Section 9 public housing. The Ninth Circuit granted a stay of two preliminary injunctions granted by two different district courts, holding that DHS has shown a strong likelihood of success on the merits because the Final Rule was neither contrary to law nor arbitrary and capricious; DHS will suffer irreparable harm because the preliminary injunctions will force it to grant status to those not legally entitled to it; and the balance of the equities and public interest favor a stay. View "City and County of San Francisco v. USCIS" on Justia Law

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The revocation of citizenship on the ground that the grant of citizenship was "illegally procured or . . . procured by concealment of a material fact or by willful misrepresentation," 8 U.S.C. 1451(a), does not constitute a "penalty" for purposes of the five year statute of limitations generally applicable to civil fines, penalties, and forfeitures, under 28 U.S.C. 2462. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the government, holding that the purpose of denaturalization is to remedy a past fraud by taking back a benefit to which an alien is not entitled. Therefore, the panel held that section 2462 did not provide petitioner a statute of limitations defense, because denaturalization was not a penalty for purposes of section 2462. View "United States v. Phattey" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law
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The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision denying a waiver of deportation under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(1)(H), based on the frivolous asylum application bar at 8 U.S.C. 1158(d)(6). Section 1158(d)(6) states that if the Attorney General determines that an alien has knowingly made a frivolous application for asylum and the alien has received the notice under paragraph (4)(A), the alien shall be permanently ineligible for any benefits under this chapter. The panel held that the frivolous asylum application bar precluded an applicant from receiving all benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The court held that the phrase "this chapter" refers to Chapter 12 of Title 8 of the U.S. Code, the chapter in which the section is found. Therefore, as a result of the frivolous asylum application finding, the panel held that petitioner was barred from receiving all benefits under the INA, including a waiver of deportation. View "Manhani v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law
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The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision concluding that petitioner was ineligible for a waiver of removability under section 237(a)(1)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The panel held that a noncitizen who seeks a section 237(a)(1)(H) waiver is "otherwise admissible" even though he failed to return to his country of origin for at least two years, as required by INA section 212(e). Therefore, the BIA's contrary interpretation contravened the statute's text, and petitioner was otherwise admissible for purposes of section 237(a)(1)(H) waiver notwithstanding 212(e). In this case, notwithstanding his failure to satisfy or receive a waiver of the two-year residency requirement, petitioner was admissible under several provisions of 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15). The panel remanded for the agency to use its discretion in determining whether to grant the requested waiver. View "Fares v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law
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Plaintiff filed suit under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), challenging the denial of his U visa petition. The district court dismissed plaintiff's action after determining that section 701(a)(2) of the APA precluded judicial review. The Ninth Circuit held that section 701(a)(2) -- which precludes judicial review of actions "committed to agency discretion by law," where there is no judicially manageable standard by which a court can judge how the agency should exercise its discretion -- does not bar judicial review of plaintiff's APA claims. The court explained that 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(U) and 8 U.S.C. 1184(p) provide meaningful standards by which to review USCIS's denial of plaintiff's U visa. Furthermore, after sua sponte consideration, the panel held that section 1252(a)(2)(B)(ii) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), which bars judicial review of certain immigration decisions or action, does not strip jurisdiction over plaintiff's action. View "Perez Perez v. Wolf" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of an ICE order reinstating petitioner's prior removal order. Determining that it had jurisdiction, the panel held that petitioner timely challenged the order reinstating his prior removal order. Based on In Matter of Farinas, 12 I. & N. Dec. 467 (BIA 1967), the panel held that petitioner has shown a gross miscarriage of justice. In this case, there was no valid legal basis for petitioner's removal order at the time of its execution in 2008 because the conviction on which it had been based had been expunged in 1999. Therefore, the panel held that a collateral attack on petitioner's prior removal order was appropriate in this case. The panel also held that there was no diligence requirement that limits the time during which a collateral attack on that deportation or removal order may be made based on a showing of gross miscarriage of justice. The panel did not reach petitioner's due process and regulatory arguments. View "Vega-Anguiano v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's determination that petitioner was removeable. The panel held that petitioner's prior conviction for first degree unlawful imprisonment under Hawaii Revised Statutes 707-721(1) is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) that made him removable. Applying the categorical approach, the panel explained that the Hawaii statute requires proof that the defendant knew that his actions would expose another person to a risk of serious bodily injury, and the panel's decision accords with the decisions of its sister circuits. View "Fugow v. Barr" on Justia Law

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8 U.S.C. 1231(a)(5) bars reopening a removal order that has been reinstated following an alien's unlawful reentry into the United States. Petitioner filed a motion to reopen his 2008 removal proceeding, which the IJ denied. The BIA then denied as moot petitioner's requests for equitable tolling and sua sponte reopening and dismissed his appeal. The Ninth Circuit held that, because petitioner's 2008 removal order has been reinstated, the BIA properly concluded that section 1231(a)(5) deprived it of jurisdiction to entertain his motion to reopen. The panel explained that Morales-Izquierdo v. Gonzales, which stated that reinstatement creates no new obstacles to attacking the validity of a prior removal order, and Miller v Sessions, which held that an individual placed in reinstatement proceedings retains the right conferred by section 1229a(b)(5)(C)(ii), to seek rescission of an in absentia order, were materially distinguishable from petitioner's case. Finally, the panel rejected petitioner's claim that incompetence raised questions similar to abstentia, and noted that even this harsher legal regime offered avenues of relief. Accordingly, the court denied the petition for review of the BIA's decision. View "Padilla Cuenca v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law
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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of a preliminary injunction against DOJ's use of the notice and access conditions imposed on recipients of Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program formula grants. The panel held that DOJ lacked statutory authority to require recipients of the grant to comply with DHS requests for notice of a detained alien's release date and time and to allow DHS agents access to detained aliens upon request. The panel held that DOJ lacked statutory authority to the notice and access conditions -- which were not special conditions nor were they listed among the statutorily recognized purposes of a Byrne JAG award -- under section 10102(a)(6) of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Act of 2005. The panel rejected DOJ's argument that the notice and access conditions were further supported by provisions in the Byrne JAG statute that authorize the Attorney General to obtain certain information and require coordination with agencies. View "Los Angeles v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit granted the petition for review of the BIA's denial of two motions to reopen petitioner's removal proceedings. Petitioner sought to reopen her removal proceedings after an IJ issued an in absentia removal order when she failed to appear at an immigration hearing. The panel held that it had jurisdiction over petitioner's case because, absent any prejudice to the Government, a premature petition for review of an immigration order may ripen upon final disposition of the case by the BIA. On the merits, the panel held that the BIA abused its discretion in denying the appeal of a motion to reopen, where the IJ in the underlying removal proceeding ordered petitioner removable in absentia on the basis of an amended notice to appear. In this case, the in absentia removal order was not supported by substantial evidence because the record provided no evidence of proper service of the amended notice to appear, as required by due process, and the IJ ordered petitioner removed based on admissions to the charges for which she did not receive notice. View "Diaz Martinez v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law