Tadevosyan v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 02-26-2014
  • Case #: 07-75087; 08-71791; 08-73437
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Berzon for the Court; Circuit Judges Pregerson and Murphy
  • Full Text Opinion

The Board of Immigration Appeals abused its discretion in denying a motion to reopen because it failed to analyze the DHS’s opposition to the motion, apply the motion to the reopen standard, or provide a reasoned explanation for its decision.

Masis Tadevosyan “was placed in removal proceedings, and an immigration judge ordered his removal to Armenia.” He appealed. While awaiting his appeal, Tadevosyan married a United States citizen who petitioned for a visa for him. The Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) affirmed his removal order. Tadevosyan filed a motion to reopen, “asking the BIA to allow him to pursue adjustment of status through” his wife’s pending petition. Attached to his motion were affidavits of support from his wife and from his joint sponsor, Nork Abrahamian. The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) opposed Tadevosyan’s motion to reopen. The BIA denied his motion because he did not have an approved immediate relative visa petition, and “the DHS [opposed] his motion in light of the absence of evidence to establish that he is not inadmissible as a public charge.” Tadevosyan appealed. The Ninth Circuit noted that Tadevosyan’s wife’s visa petition had been approved and that the BIA’s decision failed to analyze the DHS’s opposition to Tadevosyan’s motion. Instead, the BIA had “improperly accorded controlling weight to the fact that DHS opposed the motion.” Additionally, the BIA had not attempted to apply the correct motion to reopen standard. The panel reasoned that if the BIA had applied the correct standard, it would not have denied the motion because Abrahamian had demonstrated that he had sufficient income to support Tadevosyan and prevent him from being a public charge. Finally, the panel noted that the BIA had failed to provide any reasoned explanations for its decision. Thus, the panel held that the BIA had abused its discretion because it had had failed to analyze the DHS’s opposition to the motion, apply the motion to the reopen standard, or provide a reasoned explanation for its decision. PETITION GRANTED AND REMANDED.

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