Soriano-Vino v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 08-10-2011
  • Case #: 06-73345
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Rawlinson for the Court; Circuit Judge Goodwin; District Judge Zouhary concurring
  • Full Text Opinion

When an Immigration and Naturalization Service officer obtains information from an individual’s own statements and residency card, it is not violating the confidentiality provision of the Special Agricultural Workers program.

Lourdes Vino-Soriano was stopped at the Los Angeles International Airport by an Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS”) officer, and interrogated for five to six hours. Soriano states she was told that she was not entitled to an attorney, not allowed to make a telephone call, or use the bathroom, and she felt as though she could not leave the room. She signed a statement admitting to committing fraud to get into the Special Agricultural Workers (“SAW”) program. Soriano told the INS officers that she did not work on the farm she claimed to work on, and later claimed she did this because the officers threatened to send her back to the Philippines if she would not admit to this. Soriano also claimed that she did not read the statement she signed, and that what she agreed to when she signed was false. The Immigration Judge (“IJ”) did not find Soriano’s testimony credible. The IJ held that she was not a legal permanent resident (“LPR”), and ordered her removed from the United States as she was not eligible for cancellation of removal. Soriano appealed the IJ’s decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”). The BIA affirmed the IJ’s opinion and Soriano filed a petition for review to the Ninth Circuit, claiming that the INS officers violated the confidentiality provisions of the SAW program, which prohibits use of information given by a SAW applicant in the course of an application for purposes of immigration enforcement. The Ninth Circuit agreed with the BIA findings that the INS officers did not obtain information from Soriano’s SAW application, but from information on her residency card and statements Soriano made, information which was not protected by the SAW confidentiality rule, and thus not in violation the confidentiality provision. PETITION DENIED.

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