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Media Alerts - Yang v. Holder - Fourth Circuit
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January 14, 2015
  Yang v. Holder - Fourth Circuit
Headline: Adverse Credibility Finding Does Not Equal Fraud or Willful Misrepresentation

Areas of Law: Immigration

Issue Presented: Whether the BIA erred in affirming the IJ's denial of petitioner's various applications for relief from deportation.

Brief Summary: Xing Yang Yang, a Chinese native, entered the United States in 1993 without inspection but applied for asylum and withholding of removal shortly after his arrival. Subsequently, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) initiated removal proceedings against him. Lin Yang, Yang's mother and a lawful permanent resident, petitioned for an immigration visa on Yang's behalf, and Yang then filed for adjustment of his status under 8 U.S.C. § 1255. The petitions together qualified Yang for adjustment of his status to that of a lawful permanent resident. While his adjustment of status was pending, Yang filed an additional application for relief seeking asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. At Yang's evidentiary hearing, the immigration judge ("IJ") disposed of his adjustment application because an immigration visa was not available, and disposed of his application for relief after making an adverse credibility ruling based on testimonial inconsistencies.

Yang appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA"), but the BIA remanded Yang's case because his mother's petition had become effective. Before his merits hearing on the adjustment of status application, the IJ strongly encouraged Yang to file an application for a waiver (under § 1182(a)(6)(C)(i)), which would allow Yang to overcome a bar to undocumented persons who seek to procure an immigration benefit by fraud or by willfully misrepresenting a material fact if the individual shows that deportation would cause sufficient hardship to a qualifying relative. After Yang's testimony as the sole witness, the IJ denied his adjustment and waiver applications The IJ found that Yang was not subject to admission due to the initial IJ's adverse credibility ruling and found that Yang failed to show a qualifying relative would suffer extreme hardship. The BIA affirmed the IJ's decision.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit granted Yang's petition for review of the BIA's decision. The Fourth Circuit held the second IJ utilized an erroneous legal standard in rendering its fraudulent or willful misrepresentation ruling because the ruling was predicated solely on the initial IJ's credibility ruling. Concluding that a negative credibility finding alone does not necessarily lead to a fraud or willful misrepresentation finding, the Fourth Circuit vacated and remanded the case to the BIA for further proceedings as appropriate.

To read the full text of this opinion, please click here.

Senior Judge Davis, and Judges King and Motz

Argument Date:

Date of Issued Opinion: 10/29/14 (amended 11/05/2014)

Docket Number: No. 13-1682

Decided: Vacated and remanded by published opinion

Case Alert Author:
Emily Bolyard, Univ. of Maryland Carey School of Law

Counsel: ARGUED: Joshua E. Bardavid, BARDAVID LAW, New York, New York, for Petitioner. Kerry Ann Monaco, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent. ON BRIEF: Eric Y. Zheng, New York, New York, for Petitioner. Stuart F. Delery, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, Linda S. Wernery, Assistant Director, Office of Immigration Litigation, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent.

Author of Opinion:
Judge King

Case Alert Circuit Supervisor: Professor Renée Hutchins

    Posted By: Renee Hutchins @ 01/14/2015 11:01 AM     4th Circuit  

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