893 F.3d 153 (3rd Cir. 2018), 17-2159, Osorio-Martinez v. Attorney General United States of America

Docket Nº:17-2159
Citation:893 F.3d 153
Opinion Judge:KRAUSE, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:Wendy Amparo OSORIO-MARTINEZ Individually and on behalf of her minor child, D.S.R.-O., and all others similarly situated; Carmen Aleyda Lobo Mejia, Individually and on behalf of her minor child, A.D.M.-L., and all other similarly situated; Maria Delmi Martinez Nolasco, Individually, and on behalf of her minor child, J.E.L.-M., and all others...
Attorney:Bridget Cambria, Jacquelyn M. Kline, Cambria & Kline, Carol A. Donohoe, Jessica Rickabaugh [ARGUED], Anthony C. Vale, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Counsel for Appellants Nancy Winkelman, Bruce P. Merenstein, Arleigh P. Helfer, III Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, Counsel for Amicus Appellant Chad A. Read...
Judge Panel:Before: AMBRO, KRAUSE, and SCIRICA, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:June 18, 2018
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 153

893 F.3d 153 (3rd Cir. 2018)

Wendy Amparo OSORIO-MARTINEZ Individually and on behalf of her minor child, D.S.R.-O., and all others similarly situated; Carmen Aleyda Lobo Mejia, Individually and on behalf of her minor child, A.D.M.-L., and all other similarly situated; Maria Delmi Martinez Nolasco, Individually, and on behalf of her minor child, J.E.L.-M., and all others similarly situated; Jethzabel Maritza Aguilar Mancia, Individually, and on behalf of her minor child,

v.

G.R.-A., and all others similarly situated, Appellants

v.

ATTORNEY GENERAL UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; Secretary United States Department of Homeland Security; Acting Director United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Philadelphia District Office; Field Office Director Bureau of Immigration & Customs Enforcement; Director Berks County Residential Center; United States of America; United States Department of Homeland Security

No. 17-2159

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

June 18, 2018

Argued: September 19, 2017

Page 154

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 155

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 156

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 157

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Honorable Paul S. Diamond, U.S. District Judge (E.D. Pa. No. 5-17-cv-01747)

Bridget Cambria, Jacquelyn M. Kline, Cambria & Kline, Carol A. Donohoe, Jessica Rickabaugh [ARGUED], Anthony C. Vale, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Counsel for Appellants

Nancy Winkelman, Bruce P. Merenstein, Arleigh P. Helfer, III Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, Counsel for Amicus Appellant

Chad A. Readler, Assistant Attorney General, William C. Preachey, Director Office of Immigration Litigation, Erez Reuveni, Senior Litigation Counsel, Vinita Adrapalliyal, Joseph A. Darrow [ARGUED], United States Department of Justice, Office of Immigration Litigation, Ben Franklin Station, Counsel for Appellees

Before: AMBRO, KRAUSE, and SCIRICA, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

KRAUSE, Circuit Judge.

Page 158

Petitioners, four children of Salvadoran and Honduran origin and their mothers, appear before us for a second time to challenge their expedited orders of removal. In Castro v. United States Department of Homeland Security, 835 F.3d 422 (3d Cir. 2016), cert. denied, __ U.S. __, 137 S.Ct. 1581, 197 L.Ed.2d 705 (2017), we held that we lacked jurisdiction to review their claims under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and that, while the Suspension Clause of the Constitution would allow an aggrieved party with sufficient ties to the United States to challenge that lack of jurisdiction, the petitioners’ ties were inadequate because their relationship to the United States amounted only to presence in the country for a few hours before their apprehension by immigration officers. Thus, we affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of their petition.

Now, two years after their initial detention, Petitioners raise what, at first glance, appear to be the same claims. But upon inspection they differ in a critical respect: The children now have been accorded Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status— a protective classification designed by Congress to safeguard abused, abandoned, or neglected alien children who are able to meet its rigorous eligibility requirements. The protections afforded to children with SIJ status include an array of statutory and regulatory rights and safeguards, such as eligibility for application of adjustment of status to that of lawful permanent residents (LPR), exemption from various grounds of inadmissibility, and robust procedural protections to ensure their status is not revoked without good cause.

Because we conclude that the INA prohibits our review just as it did in Castro, we are now confronted with a matter of first impression among the Courts of Appeals: Does the jurisdiction-stripping provision of the INA operate as an unconstitutional suspension of the writ of habeas corpus as applied to SIJ designees seeking judicial review of orders of expedited removal? We conclude that it does. As we explained in Castro, only aliens who have developed sufficient connections to this country may invoke our Constitution’s protections. By virtue of satisfying the eligibility criteria for SIJ status and being accorded by Congress the statutory and due process rights that derive from it, Petitioners here, unlike the petitioners in Castro, meet that standard and therefore may enforce their rights under the Suspension Clause. Accordingly, we will reverse the District Court’s denial of Petitioners’ request for injunctive relief.1

I. Factual and Procedural Background

The eight Petitioners— Wendy Amparo Osorio-Martinez and her three-year-old child D.S. R.-O., Carmen Aleyda Lobo Mejia

Page 159

and her four-year-old child A.D. M.-L., Maria Delmi Martinez Nolasco and her seven-year-old child J.E. L.-M., and Jethzabel Maritza Aguilar Mancia and her sixteen-year-old child V.G. R.-A.— fled physical and sexual violence perpetrated by gangs in their home countries of Honduras and El Salvador. In September and October of 2015, each family crossed into the United States from Mexico and was apprehended by Customs and Border Patrol within four miles of the border almost immediately thereafter. They were initially detained in Texas and later moved to a detention center in Leesport, Pennsylvania. After immigration officers determined that Petitioners were inadmissible, they were each ordered expeditiously removed under 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b)(1). The families requested asylum due to their fear of gang-based violence in their home countries, but their asylum requests were denied by a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Asylum Officer and affirmed by an Immigration Judge (IJ).2

In late 2015, all eight Petitioners, along with twenty-five additional families being held at the detention center, sought habeas relief in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, challenging their final expedited removal orders and the procedures underlying those orders. See Castro v. U.S. Dep’t of Homeland Sec., 163 F.Supp.3d 157 (E.D. Pa. 2016). In that case, the families claimed that the Asylum Officers and IJs violated their constitutional and statutory rights in the manner that they conducted the "credible fear" interviews. See id. at 158. The District Court dismissed their claims, id. at 175, and when they appealed we did not reach the merits because we affirmed the District Court’s dismissal for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Castro, 835 F.3d at 425.

The key questions in Castro were whether the INA, 8 U.S.C. § 1252(e)(2), stripped us of jurisdiction to review the petitioners’ claims, and if so, whether such jurisdiction-stripping violated the Suspension Clause of the Constitution. We concluded we did lack jurisdiction under the INA, explaining that, under § 1252(e)(2)(B), we were only permitted to review "whether an immigration officer issued that piece of paper [i.e., the expedited removal order] and whether the Petitioner is the same person referred to in that order." Castro, 835 F.3d at 431, 434 (citations omitted). We also concluded that "Petitioners [were] unable to invoke the Suspension Clause" because, "as recent surreptitious entrants deemed to be ‘alien[s] seeking initial admission to the United States,’ " they lacked any constitutional rights regarding their applications for admission. Id. at 448-49 (quoting Landon v. Plasencia, 459 U.S. 21, 32, 103 S.Ct. 321, 74 L.Ed.2d 21 (1982)).

That may have seemed the end of the road for the Castro petitioners. While the Castro litigation was pending, however, the four children here applied for SIJ status. To do so, they first sought and obtained orders from the Berks County Court of Common Pleas "finding that reunification with one or both the parents was not viable due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment, and that it would not be in the child’s best interest to be returned to his or her country of origin." App. 7-8. Based on those orders, the children submitted petitions for

Page 160

SIJ status to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In late 2016, USCIS approved their petitions and, with the consent of the Secretary of Homeland Security, the children were formally granted SIJ status.

Among other benefits, SIJ status conferred on the children eligibility and the right to apply for adjustment of status to that of lawful permanent residents while within the United States. See 8 U.S.C. § 1255(a), (h)(1). At the time they filed those applications, however, visas necessary for their adjustment of status had not yet come available.3 Thus, for close to two years, the children have been wait-listed, retaining their SIJ classification and awaiting adjustment of their status to LPR. Notwithstanding these developments, however, DHS continued to detain the children and their mothers and to seek their expedited removal— removal to the very countries to which USCIS and the Berks County Court of Common Pleas both found, as part of the SIJ determination, it would not be in the children’s best interest to return. The Government’s decision to continue seeking removal is particularly noteworthy because, as far as we are aware, until very recently DHS has never attempted to remove SIJ-classified children back to their countries of origin, much less on an expedited basis.

In view of the children’s changed status, Petitioners filed a new class action complaint seeking a writ of habeas corpus or injunction to prevent the Government from executing the expedited removal orders against them and to require their release from immigration detention pursuant to those orders, on the ground that their SIJ classification prohibited their expedited removal and continued detention....

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP