During the holidays, the Government submitted a motion to dismiss on one of my petitions for review that was pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The Government argued that my client’s case should be dismissed because the court did not have jurisdiction. Litigating petitions for review is very difficult. One of the reasons for this is that not all cases that are lost at the Board of Immigration Appeals can be challenged in federal court as a petition for review. There are many complicated rules about what kinds of immigration cases that the court of appeals can hear in a petition for review. Normally, discretionary decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals cannot be challenged in a petition for review. The Government argued that I was challenging a discretionary decision, so that the case should be dismissed. However, there is an exception to that rule, which is that even if a decision is discretionary, the court can still hear a challenge to that decision if the argument is based upon a question of law or the constitution. I argued that the Board’s decision was not discretionary and even if it was, my client’s case involved both a question of law and the constitution. Earlier this week, the Second Circuit issued a short summary order denying the motion to dismiss and agreeing with me. Now my client will be able to continue his fight to stay in the United States.
One of my clients had an adjustment of status interview today. Her case had some unusual and complicated legal issues. We arrived at 9:15 AM for the interview at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration office at Long Island City. We didn’t get called until noon. Normally, an interview for adjustment of status is less than thirty minutes. Her interview lasted over an hour. Because the case was so complicated, the officer asked us to wait while she conferred with her supervisor. At 2:00, the officer called us back in for an additional thirty minutes. However, when it was all over, my client was granted a green card and had her passport stamped. Ultimately, it was well worth the wait!
I won a case in immigration court today. My client had two misdemeanor convictions for criminal possession of a controlled substance. After two hours of testimony, she was granted cancellation of removal by an immigration judge. Cancellation of removal is a form of relief from deportation for lawful permanent residents with criminal history. Because of her convictions, my client had been detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for four months because her convictions subjected her to mandatory detention. Today, she is home with her family where she belongs.