7th Circuit Immigration Law News - U.S. Seventh Circuit
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Recent Immigration Law Decisions

7th Cir. Reopens One-Child Appeal Based on Changed Conditions

Ji Cheng Ni has been in the U.S. since 2001, despite the fact that an Immigration Judge ordered him removed in 2003. Ni has two children, and argues that he should get a second shot at removal proceedings based on China’s one-child policy.

Last week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.

Generalizations Aren't Enough: Asylum Applicants Need Specifics

Xing Zheng, a native of Fuzhou City in the Fujian Province of China, arrived in the U.S. in 1991 and filed an asylum application in 1992. The application was denied. In 1998, the Immigration and Naturalization Service charged him with removal.

Zheng has managed to remain in the U.S. for more than two decades while asserting various grounds for asylum, all of which were rejected. His most recent motion to reopen, filed in 2011, focused on the argument that he would be persecuted in China for his Christian beliefs. (This was a new argument based on his 2010 conversion while in immigration detention).

Court Says Competing Immigration Actions Can Coexist

Trinidad Klene applied for citizenship. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied the application after concluding that Klene's marriage to a U.S. citizen had been fraudulent.

Klene asked a district court for relief under 8 U.S.C. §1421(c), which allows a judge to make an independent decision about an alien's entitlement to be naturalized. Later, CIS opened removal proceedings. Once the administrative removal proceedings were under way, the agency asked the district court to dismiss Klene's suit.

So what's a district court to do in this situation? The Seventh Circuit says that both cases can move forward.

Lying on an Asylum Application is a Really Bad Idea

You know that saying, "Go big, or go home"? The inverse is true when it comes to application asylums.

If the feds bust an alien telling big lies on an asylum application, there's a good chance the alien will be going home.

No Duty to Mitigate: Immigration Law Mandates Spousal Support

If you sponsor an immigrant spouse for permanent residency and later divorce, you could be on the line for spousal support, regardless of whether your former spouse attempts to find work, according to a recent Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.

Timothy Mund, an American, married Wenfang Liu in China. Two years later the couple decided to move to the United States. The Immigration and Nationality Act forbids admission of any alien who “is likely at any time to become a public charge,” so Mund had to sign an I-864 affidavit agreeing to support Liu at 125 percent of the poverty level — approximately $13,500 a year — even if they divorced.

They divorced two years later.

You Can't Manufacture a Legal Dispute Over a Factual Disagreement

Today’s Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals case serves as a reminder that factual interpretation is a subjective art, and an appeal might not provide relief from an immigration fraud ruling.

Saladin Abdel Jawad, a Jordanian citizen, has been in the U.S. for 25 years since his non-immigrant visitor visa expired. He and his ex-wife had five children in the U.S. before divorcing in 1998. Despite being approved for an immediate-family visa, Jawad has been deemed removable.

One-Child Policy Opposition Doesn't Prove Political Persecution

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that opposition to China's one-child policy, absent further evidence of persecution, does not justify an immigration appeal reversal.

A three-judge panel denied petitioner Chun Hua Zheng's asylum denial appeal, finding that Zheng had not demonstrated that it was more likely than not that she would be persecuted for her political opinions if she returned to China.

A person "who has been persecuted for ... resistance to a coercive population control program," is considered to have been "persecuted on account of political opinion" under U.S. law. By that reasoning, Zheng's opposition to China's one-child policy was a strong start to proving her political persecution argument.

Vague 4th Amendment Violation Claim? No Immigration Appeal Win

We think Reza Baniassadi suspected that his reputation in the Chicago legal community would be compromised when the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dedicated one-third of its opinion in a recent immigration appeal to criticizing his performance as an attorney.

Baniassadi's client, Alicja Wroblewska, is a Polish citizen who came to the U.S. in 1994 on a visitor's visa. She overstayed her visa and was caught allegedly trying to bribe an immigration officer in November 1999 in Operation Durango, an Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) operation that the Seventh Circuit previously described as "a shady sting."

Alvarado-Fonseca v. Holder, 10-1917

Mexican citizen's petition for review of BIA's affirmance of a deportation order

Alvarado-Fonseca v. Holder, 10-1917, concerned a Mexican citizen's petition for review of the BIA's dismissal of his appeal of an IJ's deportation order on the ground that his 1984 state court conviction for armed robbery constituted an aggravated felony.

Lin v. Holder, 10-1401

Petition for review of IJ's denial of a Chinese citizen's application for asylum and withholding of removal

Lin v. Holder, 10-1401, concerned a Chinese citizen's petition for review of a BIA's affirmance of an IJ's denial of his application for asylum and withholding of removal based on his wife's alleged abortion.