Other Circuit Court Opinions


Sihotang v. Sessions, 900 f.3d 46 (1st Cir. 2018): Evangelical Christian from Indonesia filed MTR 2006 removal proceedings, which BIA denied in a “terse one-and-a-half-page opinion.” 1st Cir granted petition, vacated and remanded because BIA’s consideration was superficial.

Alom v. Whitaker (2018): standard of review de novo in waiver of joint filing requirement for good faith marriage. (PDF Summary)

Lopez Ordonez v. Barr, No. 18-2469 (4th Cir. April 16, 2020): Atrocious persecution of asylum applicant while conscripted to Guatemalan military, including an infanticide. Vacated BIA’s denial because there really was a nexus between political opinion and persecution. (Word Doc Summary) (PDF Summary)


Budhathoki v. Nielsen (2018): Upholding the denial of SIJS petitions by USCIS re. necessary care and custody for individuals over 18. (Summary)

Singh v. Sessions (2018): Reversal of finding that asylum applicant could safely relocate within India. (Summary here.)

Pierre-Paul v. Barr, 930 F.3d 684 (5th Cir. 2019): Pereira was narrowly decided. Defective NTA does not negate jurisdiction. The regulation governing initiating removal proceedings (CFR 1003.14) is a claim-processing rule and is not affected if date and time are left off the NTA. (Word Doc Summary) (PDF Summary)

Fuentes-Pena v. Barr, 917 F.3d 827 (5th Cir. 2019): MTR in absentia for lack of notice–Court held that respondent DID meet her burden re. address updates by informing ICE of her address change BEFORE ICE had served the NTA on the immigration court. (Word Doc Summary) (PDF Summary)

Sanchez v. Garland, —Fed.Appx.—(5th Cir. Aug. 16, 2021) 2021 WL 3630313 UNPUBLISHED: Defective NTA was sufficient to give notice of immigration proceedings. (Word Doc Summary) (PDF Summary)

Rodriguez v. Garland, No. 20-60008 (5th Cir., Sept. 27, 2021): Defective NTA was insufficient to give notice in the in absentia removal context, because 8 U.S.C. 1229a(b)(5)(C)(ii) (lack of notice excuse to reopen in absentia order) specifically references 8 U.S.C. 1229(a) (NTA requirements). “Under Niz-Chavez‘s interpretation of Section 1229(a), we therefore require a single document containing the required information in the in absentia context.” (6) (Word Doc Summary) (PDF Summary)


Shkabari v. Gonzales, 427 F.3d 324, 327 n.1 (6th 2005): If you don’t raise the claims before the CA, you can’t challenge the agency’s denial of those claims.

Ramaj v. Gonzales, 46 F.3d 520, 527 (6th 2006): Review agency’s factual findings for substantial evidence

Lin v. Holder, 565 F.3d 971, 978 (6th 2009): CA lacks jurisdiction to review issues that were not brought up in BIA appeal.

Harmon v. Holder, 758 F.3d 728, 732 (6th 2014): If BIA issues own decision rather than just affirming IJ, then BIA decision is final agency decision and gets reviewed, while IJ’s decision is reviewed only insofar as BIA’s opinion addressed it.

Hussam F. v. Sessions (2018): Reversal of BIA’s discretionary denial of asylum. (Summary here.)


Mejia Galindo v. Sessions (2018): BIA does not have authority to issue a removal order on first instance, if IJ did not find the plaintiff removable. (Summary here)


Rivas v. Sessions (2018): Remand of asylum application because agency failed to address asylum request of children. Also an example of trying (unsuccessfully) to plead membership in a cognizable group because of gang violence. (Summary here.)

Rosales-Reyes v. Garland, No. 20-2417 (8th Cir. Aug. 4, 2021): PSG of “Mexican mothers who refuse to work for the cartel” found not cognizable because not particular or distinct (cartel targets everyone, not just Mexican mothers). (Word Doc Summary) (PDF Summary)

Baker White v. Wilkinson, 990 F.3d 600 (8th Cir. 2021): MTR, changed conditions. The dismissal of respondent’s criminal charges were immaterial to the IJ’s decision to dismiss her cancellation of removal application for poor moral character — the problem was her demeanor and credibility while testifying, not her arrest record. (WordDoc Summary) (PDF Summary)


Talamantes v. Att’y Gen., No. 19-15080 (11th Cir. 2021): Cancellation of removal case–aggravated felony if sentence of imprisonment was served as probation instead? 11th Circuit categorical / modified categorical / snark approach. (WordDoc Summary) (PDF Summary)

Jathursan v. Att’y Gen., 14 F.4th 1365 (11th Cir. 2021): PSG of “Tamil failed asylum seekers” facing future persecution in Sri Lanka. Remanded to BIA because BIA failed to give “reasoned consideration” to this PSG claim or to the record showing evidence of a pattern or practice of persecution of Tamil failed asylum seekers. EXCELLENT library of 11th Circuit opinions on asylum, withholding, CAT, and reasoned consideration by BIA. (WordDoc  Summary) (PDF Summary)