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Fourth Circuit Strikes Down Attorney General Opinion, Restores Fundamental Power to Immigration Judges

The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in Zuniga Romero v. Barr that immigration judges have the authority to administratively close cases pending before them. The court concluded that immigration law unambiguously permits immigration judges to control their own dockets.

U.S. Senators Urge Attorney General to Rescind Decision on Matter of L‑E‑A‑

Twelve senators sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr urging him to rescind his decision in Matter of L‑E‑A‑, which limits access to asylum for people fleeing persecution abroad because of their family ties, citing that his decision disregards decades of legal precedent.

Acting AG Suspends Briefing Schedule for Matter of Castillo-Perezand Matter of L–E–A– Due to Government Shutdown

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker announced that in light of the lapse in appropriations, he is suspending the briefing schedules for Matter of Castillo-Perez and Matter of L–E–A–, two cases that he referred to himself for review. New briefing schedules will be set when DOJ and DHS receive funding permitting them to resume normal operations. In both cases, under the new briefing schedules, briefs from amici will be due no earlier than February 1, 2019.

Judge Finds Attorney General’s Gutting of Asylum Protections Unlawful

In a statement to the press about today’s ruling striking down key portions of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision in Matter of A‑B‑ 

Thus, the Courts show that you cannot just arbitrarily and without any reason of law strike down protections against asylum.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision in Matter of L‑A‑B‑R‑

AG again issues a decision to take power away from the Immigration Judges in order to try to expedite deportation and removals

Attorney General Announces Zero-Tolerance Policy for Criminal Illegal Entry

DOJ announced that Attorney General Jeff Sessions notified all U.S. Attorney’s Offices along the southwest border of a new “zero-tolerance policy” for offenses under 8 U.S.C. §1325(a), which prohibits both attempted illegal entry and illegal entry into the United States by an individual. Sessions further directed the U.S. Attorney’s Offices to prosecute all DHS referrals for §1325(a) violations to the extent practicable.

Is a Statute Divisible for inadmissibility purposes?

The Attorney General (AG) referred two decisions of the BIA, Matter of Chairez-Castrejonand Matter of Sama, to herself for review of an issue relating to the application ofDescamps v. United States, ordering that those cases be stayed and not be regarded as precedential or binding as to the issue under review during the pendency of her review. The issue is: What is the proper approach for determining “divisibility” within the meaning ofDescamps? In particular, does Descamps require that a criminal statute be treated as “divisible” for purposes of the modified categorical approach only if, under applicable law, jurors must be unanimous as to the version of the offense committed?

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