Unpublished BIA Decisions

As a public service, IRAC collects and posts noteworthy unpublished decisions from the Board of Immigration Appeals. By making these decisions available to the immigration community, IRAC hopes to promote consistency in decision-making and to benefit attorneys with similar cases. A sample of recently posted decisions is below. If you have an unpublished decision you would like us to post, please email Ben Winograd.

Index of Unpublished BIA Decisions


IRAC also publishes an Index containing links and summaries to hundreds of unpublished decisions selected for their potential to assist respondents in removal proceedings. The Index is organized by subject matter and updated on a monthly basis. Click this link to preview and purchase the Index of Unpublished Decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Ramon Garcia-Fonseca, A075 535 094 (BIA June 5, 2014)

In this unpublished decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) was not inadmissible for having “admitted” violating a law related to a controlled substance based on a guilty plea to methamphetamine possession that resulted in his placement in a California drug diversion program. The Board noted that respondent was not convicted for immigration purposes under Lujan-Armendariz v. INS, 222 F.3d 728 (9th Cir. 2000), and that a guilty plea which results in something less than a "conviction" is not tantamount to an "admission" of the crime. The decision was written by Member Roger Pauley and joined by Member Linda Wendtland and Member Patricia Cole. 

Irma Yadira Murillo-Ayala, A078 964 772 (BIA June 3, 2014)

In this unpublished decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) rescinded an in absentia removal order in light of the fact that the respondent was 4 years old at the time of the hearing and is now potentially eligible for relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Board also changed venue from Harlingen, Texas, to Orlando, Florida, because the respondent currently resides in Tampa, Florida, and his sister’s removal proceedings also are being conducted in Orlando. The decision was written by Member John Guendelsberger and joined by Member Sharon Hoffman and Member Elise Manuel.

Karla Figueroa Briceno, A095 084 539 (BIA May 30, 2014)

In this unpublished decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) reopened proceedings at which the respondent was removed in absentia over the opposition of the Department of Homeland Security. The respondent asserted that she missed her removal hearing in 2007 because a paralegal filed a change of address form without her consent. The decision was written by Member Elise Manuel and joined by Vice Chairman Charles Adkins-Blanch and Member Sharon Hoffman.

Juan Martinez-Alvarez, A200 759 323 (BIA May 29, 2014)

In this unpublished decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) held that reopening sua sponte was warranted to permit the respondent to have his application for adjustment of status heard on the merits. The Board noted that the law firm the respondent retained neglected to file a motion to substitute counsel after the attorney handling the respondent’s case left the firm, and that the firm did not advise the respondent of the court-imposed deadline to submit his adjustment application. The decision was written by Member John Guendelsberger and joined by Vice-Chairman Charles Adkins-Blanch and Member Elise Manuel.

J. German Benitez-Lopez, A092 298 255 (BIA May 29, 2014)

In this unpublished decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissed in part an interlocutory appeal filed by the Department of Homeland Security upon finding the immigration judge’s determination that the respondent was mentally incompetent to participate in proceedings was not clearly erroneous. The Board remanded the case for further consideration, however, of whether safeguards other than administrative closure would be sufficient to allow the respondent to proceed with a full and fair hearing, such as the facilitation of medical treatment or a change of venue to a location closer to family members. The decision was written by Member Anne Greer and joined by Member Molly Kendall-Clark and Chairman David Neal.