Ninth Circuit reminds the BIA of its real purpose in Singh v. Holder.

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

The Board of Immigration Appeals and the many other immigration-involved agencies in the federal government sometimes remind me of the movie, the Bridge on the River Kwai. A recent decision, Singh v. Holder,  highlighted this. If you recall, in the Bridge on the River Kwai Alec Guinness engages in a battle of wills with the evil Colonel Saito about who is in charge of building a bride over the River Kwai. Colonel Nicholson, Guinness, forgets that his role in the…

Appellate courts reticent to get involved in interagency disputes.

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

Government agencies. There are lots of them. Their functions overlap. People uninvolved from day to day with the interaction of government agencies and learn about them from the media are probably most aware of the interactivity of the intelligence agencies. A fault found after 9-11 was the failure of the many intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies with intelligence functions to interact. Immigration law execution and enforcement are controlled by several agencies in different departments. There is the Department of…

What do you do with a case like Villa-Anguiano v. Holder?

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

On August 14, 2013, the Ninth Circuit issued a decision in Villa-Anguiano v. Holder. What at first blush may seem like a victory for immigrant rights is actually a rather disappointing case and of extremely limited positive benefit. By way of background, in most cases, when a person (who is not being removed at the border where he or she applied for admission) is being removed, he or she has the right to an immigration court hearing, an appeal to…

Two different outcomes on reopening based on vaguely distinguishable facts.

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

The courts of appeal perennially must deal with the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel. The issue is whether a case should be reopened if an attorney made a mistake in the case. The issue highlights a conflict between two conflicts in law in general – an interest in finality versus an interest in fairness. The interest in finality is that a case must end at some point. An alien has his day in court and he has his appeals….