Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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Petitioner sought review of the BIA's denial of his motion to reopen proceedings to apply for protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). Petitioner feared that he would be tortured on account of his sexual orientation if he is removed to his home country of Ethiopia. The Ninth Circuit held that it had jurisdiction over the petition pursuant to the exception to the jurisdictional bar of 8 U.S.C. 252(a)(2)(C) for reviewing mixed questions of law and fact, because the petition here required the panel to apply the law to undisputed facts. The panel also held that the BIA abused its discretion by disregarding or discrediting the undisputed new evidence submitted by petitioner regarding increased violence toward homosexuals in Ethiopia, including reports of violence by both the government and private citizens. Accordingly, the panel granted the petition for review. View "Agonafer v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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President Trump, in issuing Executive Order 13780, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States," exceeded the scope of the authority delegated to him by Congress. After determining that plaintiffs have standing to assert their claims based on the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the Ninth Circuit held that plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of success on the merits of that claim and that the district court's preliminary injunction order could be affirmed in large part based on statutory grounds. The panel declined to reach the Establishment Clause claim to resolve this appeal. The panel held that, in suspending the entry of more than 180 million nationals from six countries, suspending the entry of all refugees, and reducing the cap on the admission of refugees from 110,000 to 50,000 for the 2017 fiscal year, the President did not meet the essential precondition to exercising his delegated authority pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1182(f). The President failed to make a sufficient finding that the entry of the excluded classes would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. The panel also held that the Order violated other provisions of the INA that prohibit nationality-based discrimination and require the President to follow a specific process when setting the annual cap on the admission of refugees. Accordingly, the panel affirmed in large part; vacated portions of the injunction that prevent the Government from conducting internal reviews and the injunction to the extent that it runs against the President; and remanded with instructions. View "Hawaii v. Trump" on Justia Law

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California Vehicle Code 2800.2 is not categorically a crime of moral turpitude. Petitioner, a native and citizen of Mexico, petitioned for review of the BIA's decision concluding that his conviction for fleeing from a police officer under section 2800.2 was categorically a crime involving moral turpitude that made him statutorily ineligible for cancellation of removal. Given the flaws in the BIA's analysis, the Ninth Circuit accorded minimal deference to the agency's determination that section 2800.2 constitutes a categorical crime involving moral turpitude. The panel held that, under the categorical approach, the conduct criminalized in section 2800.2 does not necessarily create the risk of harm that characterizes crimes of moral turpitude, even though subsection (a) standing alone would appear to contain elements of a dangerous crime. The court explained that, in this case, it did not apply the modified categorical approach because the elements of section 2800.2 were clearly indivisible. View "Ramirez-Contreras v. Sessions" on Justia Law