Our Office has argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issues relating to Asylum and Removal Defense. Through litigated issued before the Federal Court of Appeals, Attorney Gihan Thomas has successfully set cases of first impression through published opinions by the Ninth Circuit. A published opinion, set a precedent of law to be followed by the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Immigration Judges and other practitioners that are following the Circuit Court decision. For the convenience of our readers, we are providing a summary of these cases:

Viridiana v. Holder, 646 F.3d 1230 (9th Cir. 2011):

Viridiana was defrauded by an immigration consultant who took $1,300.00 to file her asylum application, which he never filed. The statutory period to file the asylum application was one year. Viridiana filed her application after 16 months of her arrival. The Immigration Judge (IJ) and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) have denied her case as “untimely”. The Ninth Circuit, in a published opinion, stated for the first time, that a fraud by an immigration consultant can constitute an extraordinary circumstance to waive the untimely filing of an asylum application.

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Sumolang v. Holder, 723 F.3d 1080 (9th Cir. 2013):

and Mrs. Sumolang are Chinese Christians from Indonesia. Their daughter died for lack of medical attention at a hospital because the doctors refused to provide medical attention for the daughter because they are both ethnic Chinese and Christian. The Sumolang family filed for asylum claiming persecution based on the death of their daughter. The IJ and the BIA denied their claim. The Ninth Circuit, in a published opinion, extended protection to the parents (Sumolang), based on the harm solely occurring to their child.

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Chandra v. Holder, 10-70029 (9th Cir. May 12, 2014):

Chandra, a Chinese Buddhist, sought asylum based on his harm as an ethnic Chinese in Indonesia. The IJ and the BIA denied his case and a final order of removal was entered against him. Chandra converted to Christianity. He moved the Board of Immigration Appeals to reopen his case based on his changed circumstances and changed country condition in Indonesia. The Board denied his motion to reopen. The Ninth Circuit reversed in a case of first impression, stating that changed personal circumstances as it relates to change country condition can warrant a reopening and vacate a final order of removal.

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