9th Circuit Immigration Law News - U.S. Ninth Circuit
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The Ninth Circuit has ruled that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) erred in not considering imputed political opinion as a ground for asylum in an Armenian man's case.

Petitioner Hayk Khudaverdyan sought asylum in the United States. He claimed that he was unable to return to Armenia because he was persecuted by the military police for whistleblowing to the press.

Khudaverdyan, a manager at a hotel restaurant, was beaten by a local police chief's bodyguards after the chief was dissatisfied with the food and service. A week later, Khudaverdyan was approached by a reporter who wanted to interview him about the beating. At a second meeting with the reporter, Khudaverdyan refused to speak about the incident because he was afraid of retaliation. Immediately after this meeting, Khudaverdyan was kidnapped, interrogated, beaten, and accused of espionage by the military police. Khudaverdyan was also threatened with life imprisonment.

SCOTUS Won't Review AZ Immigrant Harboring Case; Bail Denial Argued

Arizona: the proving ground for state immigration and abortion laws.

We've seen a lot of movement on Arizona abortion cases lately, and on Monday, the Supreme Court declined to intervene in an ongoing challenge to the state's illegal immigrant harboring statute, which means the injunction, which currently blocks enforcement of the state law, will remain in place during the litigation.

An en banc challenge to a related law, which prohibits bail for illegal immigrants, was recently argued before the court and is awaiting a decision.

Arizona's Immigrant Bail Denial Headed Back to En Banc 9th

Over the past few years, the nation has watched, with little amusement, while a circus of immigration reform efforts have played out in Arizona. Frustrated by what they call the federal government's failings in curbing illegal immigration, the state passed its own set of laws, in the legislature and via referendum, most of which have since met their demise in the courts.

Arizona's laws have been criticized as improperly motivated, and preempted by federal law, but last June, a divided panel upheld Proposition 100, which denies bond to illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes, as a proper means of ensuring that the state can enforce its laws against those prone to flee.

On Thursday, however, the court announced that the case will head back to the court for the full en banc treatment.

AZ's 'Unintelligible' Immigrant Harboring Statute Voided

Another of Arizona's oft-criticized and oft-litigated immigration statutes has been voided by the court, pending any further appeals.

The section at issue in this appeal, 13-2929, deals with transporting, concealing, harboring, or shielding an unauthorized alien from detection and applies to "a person who is in violation of a criminal offense." Last year, a district court judge enjoined enforcement of the statute, holding that the plaintiffs had established a high probability of success on their claims that the statute was unconstitutionally vague and preempted by federal laws.

9th Cir. Sets Aside BIA Ruling; Gay Filipino Can Stay in U.S.

Rape. Repeated beatings. Unemployment. Verbal harassment.

These are the conditions Dennis Vitug, a HIV-positive, gay Filipino faced growing up in the Philippines. And after returning from a student visa-enabled trip to the U.S., he spent three years searching for a job, only to be denied because of his effeminate nature and the rampant discrimination against homosexuals in the Philippines.

However, during his time in the United States, including after he overstayed a tourist visa, he developed a drug habit and was arrested multiple times on drug possession offenses. A relapse, brought on by depression after his HIV diagnosis, led to a lengthy prison sentence and deportation proceedings.

Retroactively Modifying Where Immigration Regs. Have Gone Before

How does one make labor certifications and proper notice of retroactive changes to those regulations somewhat interesting? Cite Star Trek, of course.

"Time is the fire in which we burn."

Of course, any good Trekkie can tell you that the quote comes from Tolian Soran, the villan from the movie Star Trek Generations. (Or said Trekkie might've Googled it.)

The case itself involved a labor certification from the Department of Labor that was, at the time of issuance, valid indefinitely. This certification was necessary for Romeo Fulga to obtain an employment-based immigration visa to work for the Elim Church of God as a youth pastor.

Illegal Reentry Into U.S. Accomplished ... In Handcuffs

A guy walks into a bar … I mean, walks to the border. Seeking to enter the country, he says, “S’up. I’m a United States Citizen.” He is then admitted into the country … in handcuffs.

There were two problems with Mariano Anguiano-Morfin’s assertion. For one, he had previously been removed from the country, and had his lawful residence revoked. The other issue? Falsely claiming that you are a U.S. Citizen is a crime.

His creative defense was delusions of citizenship.

You Can't Use an APA Claim to Circumvent a BIA Ruling

Saul Martinez filed a false application for asylum and withholding of removal based on his alleged political opinion. Four years later, he admitted that he lied on the first application, and submitted a new application based on his sexual orientation.

Is it surprising that the immigration judge decided that Martinez lacked credibility? No?

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Loses 9th Circuit Injunction Appeal

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio can't detain people solely on the suspicion that they're undocumented immigrants, reports Fox News.

"America's toughest sheriff" was appealing a preliminary injunction that a district court judge issued last year.

Feds Can't Deport Defendant's Only Exculpatory Witness

What do you do if the only exculpatory witness in your client's case is a recently-deported illegal alien?

Start appealing.

Friday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the government may not deport an illegal alien who can provide exculpatory evidence for a criminal defendant, The Wall Street Journal reports.