Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected the government’s position that noncitizens are barred from seeking reopening or reconsideration of their cases once they are no longer inside the United States, usually as a result of deportation. The Fifth Circuit joined eight other circuits which have have found the so-called “departure bar”—a regulation barring noncitizens from pursuing their cases after departure or deportation— is unlawful. In its decision, the court adopted arguments offered by the American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center (LAC) and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) in an amicus brief to the court.
In the first of the two cases, Lari v. Holder, the court struck down the departure bar in the context of a motion to reconsider. Mr. Lari was represented by Matthew Hoppock of Dunn and Davison, LLC. In the second case, Garcia Carias v. Holder, the court struck down the departure bar in the context of a motion to reopen. Mr. Garcia Carias was represented by Boston College’s Post-Deportation Human Rights Project and Nixon Peabody LLP.
To read more about the LAC and NIPNLG’s nationwide challenges to the departure bar, please visit their website, Motions to Reopen from Outside the Country.