AG Lifts Stay and Remands Matter of Chairez and Matter of Sama

After referring Matter of Chairez and Matter of Sama to herself for review of an issue relating to Descamps v. United States, and after inviting amicus briefs addressing the proper approach for determining “divisibility” within the meaning of Descamps, the Attorney General (AG) lifted the stay and remanded the two cases to the BIA for any appropriate action in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 23, 2016, decision in Mathis v. United States.

BIA Says IJs Cannot Adjudicate Section 212(d)(3)(A)(ii) Waiver by Petitioner for U Status

In a precedent decision issued today, the BIA held that IJs lack the authority to adjudicate a request for a waiver of inadmissibility under INA §212(d)(3)(A)(ii) by a petitioner for U nonimmigrant status. The BIA also concluded that the Seventh Circuit’s decision in L.D.G. v. Holder did not expressly find the language of §212(d)(3)(A) to be unambiguous, which would have left no room for agency discretion. Accordingly, the BIA will apply its ruling in this decision to cases nationwide, including cases arising in the Seventh Circuit.

USCIS Updates the H-2B Cap Count

As of May 2, 2016, USCIS had receipted 32,620 beneficiaries towards the 33,000 cap for the second half of FY2016. This count includes 26,426 approved and 6,194 pending beneficiaries.

Court Finds Receipt of Embezzled Property Is Not Categorically an Aggravated Felony

The Fourth Circuit held that the BIA erred in concluding that the petitioner was an aggravated felon who was ineligible for cancellation of removal under INA §240A(a)(3), finding that a conviction for receipt of embezzled property under 18 USC §659 is not an aggravated felony under the categorical approach

Court Finds Petitioner’s Maine Assault Conviction Was Not a “Crime of Violence”

On rehearing, the First Circuit vacated the BIA’s decision and remanded, holding that under Moncrieffe v. Holder the petitioner’s 2006 Maine conviction for assault was not a “crime of violence,” and thus, the petitioner was eligible to seek cancellation of removal.

AAO Sustains Appeal of TSC “Extraordinary Ability” Denial for Judo Coach

In a non precedent decision, the AAO held that the petitioner, a judo athlete transitioning his career from competing to coaching, met the burden of proof necessary to establish his eligibility as an individual “of extraordinary ability” in athletics pursuant to INA §203(b)(1)(A).

Court Says No Rational Basis Between Chronic Alcoholism and a Lack of Good Moral Character

The Ninth Circuit granted the petition for review of the BIA decision, finding the petitioner ineligible for cancellation of removal or voluntary departure because he lacked good moral character as a “habitual drunkard.” The court remanded, holding that the petitioner could bring an equal protection challenge because there is no rational basis to classify persons afflicted by chronic alcoholism as innately lacking good moral character.