Villa-Anguiano v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 08-14-2013
  • Case #: 08-74585
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Berzon for the Court; Circuit Judge M. Smith, Jr.; Dissent by Circuit Judge Tallman
  • Full Text Opinion

The reinstatement of a prior removal order that has been invalidated on constitutional grounds cannot serve as the only reasoning for removing an alien.

Alejandro Israel Villa-Anguiano (“Villa”) came to the United States from Mexico and later became a permanent resident in 1989. After a voluntary manslaughter conviction and after serving his conviction, Villa was ordered deported in 1997. He reentered the United States without permission in 2001, and was arrested after a traffic stop in 2008. Before the district court for his illegal reentry charge, Villa collaterally attacked his 1997 removal order pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1326(d). The district court ruled that Villa’s removal in 1997 was invalid because it was potentially influenced by a denial of his right to counsel. However, the following day, Villa was deported through the reinstatement of the now invalidated removal order. Since the reinstatement of the 1997 removal order was the only basis for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”) removal of Villa in 2008, the Ninth Circuit ruled the latter removal as unlawful. The panel explained that if a prior removal is invalidated, ICE must allow the alien to make a written or oral statement addressing reinstatement and decide to either rely on a previous order as the basis for removal or instigate full removal proceedings. This process will help ensure that the alien’s due process rights are respected and protect the procedural safeguards provided in 8 C.F.R. § 241.8(a)(3) and (b), including, but not limited to, an alien’s right to be heard at a meaningful time and manner. Petition GRANTED, reinstatement order VACATED, and REMANDED.

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