Matter of Silva-Trevino: Going, going ….

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

On November 7, 2008, outgoing Attorney General Michael Mukasey turned immigration law on its head when he issued a decision, Matter of Silva-Trevino. Rather than go into all its details, I refer you to a blog I posted on it in January 2011 and an article I co-authored.  In January I optimistically forecasted that Matter of Silva-Trevino would not survive Ninth Circuit scrutiny. I wrote: This case (Rosas Castaneda v. Holder)  also may be foreshadow the demise of another precedent…

USCIS adjudicators administer laws they do not understand.

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

When I was a kid, I remember watching an interview with the then-current crop of Nobel Prize winners on television. The concept was that these men and women were the world’s brightest people and their insights on things outside of their professional expertises would be valuable. The Physics prize winner kept saying all kinds of non-mainstream things that made him seem odd compared the others whose views were within the norm, at least to my then-child’s mind.  One thing he…

The modified categorical approach is categorically modified in the 9th Circuit

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

On August 11, 2011, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals published another en banc blockbuster, U.S. v. Aguila-Montes de Oca authored by Judge Jay Bybee. The case addresses the modified categorical approach of statutory analysis. The use of the approach arises when a court needs to figure out if a state criminal conviction fits a federal definition of say, a crime of violence or a burglary or a crime of domestic violence or sexual abuse of a minor or a…

The pendulum swings back in the 9th Circuit ‘reversing’ Matter of Almanza-Arenas

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Nearly a year ago, I posted two blogs, this and this, about a case from the Board of Immigration Appeals, Matter of Almanza-Arenas, which reversed precedent in the Ninth Circuit regarding showing eligibility for Cancellation of Removal for Certain Permanent Residents, INA § 240A(a). This Cancellation of Removal, there are two others, allows permanent residents to keep their permanent residence status after committing removable offenses or engaging in conduct that renders one removable. To be eligible, an alien must have at…