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AG William Barr Promotes Immigration Judges with High Asylum Denial Rates

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Trump administration has promoted six judges to the BIA — all of whom have high rates of denying immigrants’ asylum claims. “The [BIA’s] primary function is to ensure rule of law and impartiality, yet the [DOJ] cherry-picked judges from the harshest jurisdictions with the lowest asylum grant rates in the nation

BIA Issues Decision Clarifying Standard of Proof to Establish Marriage Fraud Under INA §204(c)

The BIA issued a decision clarifying the “substantial and probative evidence” standard of proof necessary to bar the approval of a visa petition based on marriage fraud under INA §204(c).

BIA Dismisses Appeal After Finding N‑550 Does Not Confer Citizenship Status if Acquired Unlawfully

The BIA found the respondent removable, holding that it is not necessary to show his intent in order to establish that he is deportable for making a false representation of U.S. citizenship, and also because a Form N‑550 does not confer citizenship status if it is acquired unlawfully.

BIA Dismisses Appeal and Issues Decision on “Realistic Probability”

The BIA found that where an individual has been convicted of violating a state drug statute that includes a controlled substance that is not on the federal controlled substances schedules, the individual must establish a realistic probability that the state would actually apply the language of the statute to prosecute conduct involving that substance in order to avoid the immigration consequences of such a conviction.

Court Reverses BIA’s Determination on Nexus Requirement for Asylum and Withholding of Removal

The Fourth Circuit vacated the denial of the petitioner’s asylum and withholding of removal claims, reversed the BIA’s determination that the petitioner had failed to establish the required nexus between her persecution and her proposed protected statuses—that is, her membership in the particular social group of unmarried mothers living under the control of gangs in Honduras and her imputed political opinion—and remanded.

Court Remands for BIA to Explain Why It Did Not Apply Sanchez-Sosa Factors to Remand Request

The Eighth Circuit remanded for the BIA to explain why it denied the petitioner’s motion to reopen and reconsider after the petitioner had provided proof of his filing of a U visa application, when Matter of Sanchez-Sosa suggests that a completed application weighs in favor of pausing the removal process to await adjudication of the U visa.

Court Upholds BIA Denial to Certify Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claim Because It Is Not Subject to Judicial Review

In a case of first impression, the Ninth Circuit held ineffective assistance certifications are committed to agency discretion by the plain language of 8 CFR §1003.1(c), which contains no standard or meaningful guidance sufficient for judicial review.

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