7th Circuit Immigration Law News - U.S. Seventh Circuit
U.S. Seventh Circuit - The FindLaw 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Recent Immigration Law Decisions

Non-citizens have a right to bear arms, even if they are in the country illegally, the Seventh Circuit ruled late in August. The ruling overturns a district court finding that the Second Amendment doesn't protect unauthorized aliens. In so holding, the Seventh created a split with the Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Circuits, all of which have ruled otherwise.

But, there's a catch. While the right to bear arms extends to unauthorized non-citizens in the U.S., the Second Amendment also allows for limits. That includes a federal law banning unauthorized immigrants and nonimmigrant visa holders from possessing firearms, the court concluded.

7th Cir. Actually Grants an Immigration Appeal Petition

It's almost as a rare day when a federal circuit court grants review of a case from the Board of Immigration Appeals as it is when a federal circuit court grants a habeas petition. Today turned out to be Ashraf Habib's lucky day.

The government wanted Habib deported for misrepresenting the fact of his marital status in Pakistan in order to gain U.S. residency. The Seventh Circuit concluded that ineffective assistance of counsel led to Habib's current predicament and granted his petition for review.

A Mongolian business man will get a second chance at asylum after the Seventh Circuit found that his credibility was inappropriately denied based on poorly conducted airport interviews. Gonchigsharav Nadmid had arrived in the United States in 2009, seeking asylum from alleged corruption and abuse by Mongolian politicians.

An immigration judge found Nadmid to lack credibility, however, based largely on airport interviews conducted on his arrival -- and in Russian. Since those interviews revealed a significant language barrier, the Seventh Circuit held, the immigration judge was wrong to rely on them to discount Nadmid's credibility.

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.