Monday, March 02, 2009

Liu: Late Motion To Reopen Allowed Only For Changed Country Conditions, Not Personal Circumstances

Liu v. Holder
February 4, 2009

Judges Slovier, Greenberg, and District Judge Irenas. Opinion by Judge Greenberg. Gary Yerman of Yerman & Associates in New York, NY repesented Ms. Liu. Jeffrey S. Bucholtz (DOJ Civil Division), Alison Marie Igoe, Edward J. Duffy, and Paul F. Stone (OIL) represented the government.

Ms. Liu lost her asylum claim before IJ Alberto J. Riefkohl. She also lost her BIA appeal. She then filed a motion to reopen that the BIA and the Third Circuit viewed as being based on changed personal circumstances because she focused on how she just had two children.

The Third Circuit noted that the statute that allows an additional asylum application does not make clear whether the changed circumstances can include changed personal circumstances. However, the Third Circuit's view is that it would be harmonious to other statutes to allow a motion to reopen more than 90 days after the original decision based only on changed country conditions. The Third Circuit therefore stands with the Second Circuit's decision in Jin v. Mukasey, 538 F.3d 143 (2d Cir. 2008) on this controversial issue.

Although the Third Circuit explains the desire to prohibit gaming of the system and deference to the BIA's construction of the immigration statutes, the Third Circuit did not discuss international law bases for the United States asylum law. We'll have to see how this controversial issue develops in other circuits.


Post a Comment

<< Home