Cheema v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 09-06-2012
  • Case #: 08-72451
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Nguyen for the Court; Circuit Judges Fernandez and Paez
  • Full Text Opinion

The written advisals on the I-589 asylum application form gives applicants adequate notice of the repercussions of “knowingly filing a frivolous asylum application” and, as required by 8 U.S.C. § 1158(d)(4)(A), of the privilege of having representation by counsel.

An immigration judge (IJ) found that Baljinder Singh Cheema (Cheema) had “knowingly filed a frivolous asylum application.” Cheema contested the IJ’s finding. Cheema argued that the written advisals on the I-589 asylum application form had not adequately informed him that the consequence of being found to have “knowingly filed a frivolous asylum application” would be a permanent bar from receiving immigration benefits. In his appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), Cheema claimed that he had not been properly informed of the repercussions of “knowingly filing a frivolous asylum application” or, as required by 8 U.S.C. § 1158(d)(4)(A), of the privilege of representation by counsel. The BIA affirmed the IJ’s finding and dismissed Cheema’s appeal. The Ninth Circuit chose to hear Cheema’s case because the Ninth Circuit has yet to rule on the adequacy of the written advisals on the I-589 asylum application form for informing asylum applicants of the repercussions of knowingly “filing a false asylum application” or of the privilege of being represented by counsel. The Ninth Circuit ruled that asylum applicants received adequate notice of the repercussions of “filing a frivolous asylum application” because on the signature page of the asylum application form is a clearly stated warning of these repercussions. The Ninth Circuit also found that the form provided asylum applicants with adequate notice of their privilege of having representation by counsel because the words “applicants may be represented by counsel” were printed directly over the form’s signature line. PETITION DENIED.

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