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Medina-Morales v. Ashcroft

Everyone in Mr. Medina’s family had immigrated to the United States.  His father was a U.S. citizen.  His mother was a permanent resident.  His children were U.S. citizens.  He had lived in the United States since he was a small child, brought here by his parents.  His record was spotless.  All he wanted was a chance to take his claim before the Immigration Court to have his permanent residence application heard and decided.  Instead, ICE arrested and detained him alleging that he had agreed to depart the United States voluntarily even though he was seeking a new hearing.  Mr. Medina sued.  First he filed a habeas petition seeking immediate release from detention which the U.S. District Court granted.  Then, he filed a petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decision in his case arguing that he was entitled to a new hearing.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in his favor and ordered a new hearing.  The Ninth Circuit explained that the BIA had ignored its own opinions and made legal errors in its decision.