Legal News and Blog

If you get into a quarrel in California and try to kill someone, make sure they die?

In bizarre news from the world of immigration, the Board of Immigration Appeals has held that while voluntary manslaughter is not an aggravated felony crime of violence, attempted voluntary manslaughter is a crime of violence, subjecting the defendant to likely deportation. On March 15, 2018, the Board held in Matter of Cervantes Nunez, 27 I&N Dec. 238 (BIA 2018), that attempted voluntary manslaughter under California Penal Code 192(a) and 664 is an aggravated felony under INA 101(a)(43)(F) and the crime of violence definition at 18 USC 16(a). Manslaughter is an offense, derived from the common law, that describes the unlawful killing of a human being that is committed "without malice" for a

9th Circuit Reverses Asylum Denial of Chinese Citizen Tortured for Protesting Government Demolition

In June 2009, Xinbing Song was notified by his local government in Hunan province that a building in which he owned a property would be demolished to make way for new development. Unhappy with the meager compensation the government offered, Song organized a protest involving over 100 residents and neighbors and blocked the entrance to a government building. Government officials confronted him, but he refused to disband the protestors. He subsequently hung a banner stating that he would rather die than give up his property, and he began to occupy one of the building's emptied apartments. In response to Song's actions, the police jailed and tortured him. He was beaten for three days and th

The Eleventh Circuit grants Venezuelan journalist's appeal and request for political asylum

On March 2, in an unpublished opinion, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals and granted Duannie G. Bello Vallenilla's application for asylum based on political persecution in Venezuela. Ms. Vallenilla testified that she had worked as a journalist for the website La Patilla since 2010. She also claimed to be a member of Voluntad Popular, a group that opposes the Chavista and Maduro regimes that have systemically destroyed Venezuela's economy and left its society starving and beset with violence. She testified that she had been persecuted by the Tupamaros, a paramilitary group which is supported by the Venezuelan government and carries

What Does the Case of Melania Trump Tell Us About the "Extraordinary Ability" visa? Not that hard.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that Melania Trump was a recipient of the "Extraordinary Ability visa," which the article nicknames the "Einstein visa." A torrent of follow-up articles emphasizes the strict requirements of the EB-1A category and questions how the First Lady could have possibly met the qualifications, implying that something was amiss in her application. We know the real answer, however: getting an EB-1A is simply not that hard. The EB-1A is the first employment-based immigrant visa category, one of only two categories (the other being the national interest waiver) that is self-petitioned, and it requires no labor certification (with its attendant recruitment schedul


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