Annachamy v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 07-03-2012
  • Case #: 07-70336
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Fisher for the Court; Circuit Judge Rawlinson and District Judge Mills
  • Full Text Opinion

The material support bar does not include a "political offense exception," nor does it include an exception for duress and involuntary action.

Petitioner Satheeskumar Annachamy sought review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”). He claimed that the BIA erred in its application of the material support bar. Annachamy argued that he was never a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (“LTTE”), the organization he supported. He claimed that he was forced to give monetary support to the organization and to work for it. While Annachamy admited that he gave monetary support to LTTE, he argued that the material support bar does not apply to him because the group was involved in “legitimate political violence.” However, the Court determined that their earlier decision in Khan was controlling. In Khan, the Court decided that the plain language of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) did not allow for such an exception. As such, the Court determined that there is no “political offense exception” to the material support bar based on the text of the statute, because the framework of the statute “makes clear” that the exception was not intended. Also, the Court observed that there is an explicit involuntariness exception in a “neighboring” section of the law, which further shows that Congress did not intend for an involuntariness exception to the material support bar. Also, the BIA has interpreted the statute to not include a duress exception. Annachamy also argued that failure to include a duress exemption conflicts with the US obligations to the UN. However, the UN Convention specifically addresses the issue of a refugee who might be a danger to the country he is in and finds that the country is not forbidden from expelling that refugee. Because the Court found the argued exceptions to the material support bar did not exist, the petition was denied. PETITION DENIED.

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