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Jeff Sessions Is Exerting Unprecedented Control Over Immigration Courts — By Ruling on Cases Himself

On three BIA decisions that the Attorney General has referred to himself for review, as well as a proposal in DOJ’s spring 2018 regulatory agenda that could widen the Attorney General’s power over the immigration court system

Trump Replaces Acting Attorney General and Acting ICE Director

As reported in today’s Immigration Politics Ticker, last night President Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates, after she ordered DOJ not to defend Trump’s Executive Order (EO) barring foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries and refugees against legal challenges. Trump replaced Yates with Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, who will serve as acting Attorney General until the Attorney General nominee is confirmed. Also last night, President Trump appointed Thomas D. Homan as acting ICE Director, to replace acting ICE Director Daniel Ragsdale.

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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