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7th Circuit tackles 'novel' U visa review request

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled it does not have jurisdiction to review immigration orders denying a specialized visa to a non-citizen trying to stay in the country after assisting in an investigation or prosecution.

The appellate court’s ruling came today in Juan Gabriel Torres-Tristan v. Eric H. Holder, Jr., Nos. 10-14-11, 10-2532 and 10-333, a case involving three petitions for review on orders from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Petitioner Juan Gabriel Torres-Tristan entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico as a minor in 1993, and he served an Illinois sentence on robbery and aggravated battery because of his involvement with the Latin Kings gang. The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service ordered his removal, and that happened in July 2001. Despite not being able to re-enter without prior approval from the U.S. attorney general, Torres-Tristan re-entered without permission three months later and returned to the Chicago area. He was assaulted in late 2002 and sustained substantial injury. He worked with police investigating the assault to pinpoint the attackers, though that was not successful.

He remained in the Chicago area for seven years, becoming engaged and having a child without any official attention to his illegal immigration status. In January 2010, DHS officials arrested him and reinstated the prior removal order from 2000. While in federal custody awaiting removal, Torres-Tristan filed a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services seeking a U visa that would grant him temporary lawful status based on his cooperation in the police investigation of the 2002 attack.

Because his previous removal order from 2000 was in effect at the time of the attack and before the police cooperation, federal officials determined he wasn’t eligible for a U visa and denied his visa and waiver petitions, as well as a later request for reconsideration. Those actions are what Torres-Tristan sought to have reviewed by the federal courts.

In a 22-page order, the 7th Circuit denied his requests. Judge David Hamilton wrote for the unanimous panel that also included Judges Daniel Manion and Diane Wood.

With regard to judicial review of the DHS’s reinstatement of the 2000 removal order, that was the only petition the court found it has jurisdiction over. The court denied the request on the merits.

“The second and third petitions seek to create a novel route to obtain, apparently for the first time in the circuit courts of appeals, judicial review of orders by (USCIS) that denied petitioner the ‘U Visa’ he sought to prolong his unlawful stay in the United States,” Judge Hamilton wrote, later delving into language in the U visa regulations issued in recent years and generally addressed in caselaw.

Describing this as “an unprecedented expansion of our very limited judicial review of the reinstatement,” Judge Hamilton described why the court was rejecting the argument. He wrote that a Supreme Court ruling from 1983 allowing orders to be cancelled “by operation of law” and similar provision in the U visa regulation is an unlikely means for accomplishing the result Torres-Tristan wants.

This petition review request was a collateral matter for the DHS, something the federal courts aren’t allowed to review, he wrote.

Denying the first petition, the appellate panel dismissed the others for lack of jurisdiction without reaching the merits.
 

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  1. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  2. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  3. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  4. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  5. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

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