Guentchev v. I.N.S., No. 95-2309

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore COFFEY, EASTERBROOK, and KANNE; EASTERBROOK
PartiesIlko GUENTCHEV, Petitioner, v. IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, Respondent.
Docket NumberNo. 95-2309
Decision Date04 March 1996

Page 1036

77 F.3d 1036
33 Fed.R.Serv.3d 1124
Ilko GUENTCHEV, Petitioner,
v.
IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, Respondent.
No. 95-2309.
United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.
Argued Jan. 24, 1996.
Decided March 4, 1996.

Page 1037

Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Royal F. Berg (argued), Chicago, IL, for Petitioner.

Janet Reno, Office of the United States Attorney General, Washington, DC, Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, Immigration & Naturalization Service, Chicago, IL, James B. Burns, Office of the United States Attorney, Chicago, IL, William J. Howard, David M. McConnell, Marion E. Guyton, Department of Justice, Civil Division, Immigration Litigation, Washington, DC, and Ernesto H. Molina, Jr. (argued), United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC, for Respondent.

Before COFFEY, EASTERBROOK, and KANNE, Circuit Judges.

EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judge.

Ilko Guentchev wanted to be a policeman in his native Bulgaria. He was turned down--because, he says, he practiced the Eastern Orthodox faith, and because some ancestors had been police before the communists came to power in 1944, for which he was unwilling to atone by joining the Communist Party. So he took other, less satisfying, employment. In 1990 Guentchev arrived in the United States as a tourist and did not leave when his visa expired. Instead of approaching the INS to claim asylum as a refugee, he kept his head low. After the INS caught up with him, Guentchev argued that his religion and family history had been bases of persecution, supporting his demand for asylum under 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a) and withholding of deportation under 8 U.S.C. § 1253(h).

The immigration judge was not impressed by the idea that inability to work in Bulgaria as a policeman is a form of persecution allowing one to live permanently in the United States--especially not when the government of Todor Zhivkov fell in November 1989 and has been replaced by a democratic one. Guentchev observes that today's Bulgarian government includes persons who played roles in the repressive pre-1990 regime. Still, the State Department believes that Bulgaria has ceased to persecute people on grounds of religion and politics. The Immigration Judge held that Guentchev had not established either past persecution (he had a good job despite his disappointment at his inability to join the police, and his wife was employed as an accountant) or a probability of future persecution. Substantial evidence supports both aspects of this decision. See INS v. Elias-Zacarias, 502 U.S. 478, 112 S.Ct. 812, 117 L.Ed.2d 38 (1992); INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca, 480 U.S. 421, 107 S.Ct. 1207, 94 L.Ed.2d 434 (1987); INS v. Stevic, 467 U.S. 407, 104 S.Ct. 2489, 81 L.Ed.2d 321 (1984). If, as Guentchev contends, he is wanted by the Bulgarian military for additional service, this is a burden of civic life that cannot be traced to his religious or political beliefs--or so the immigration judge rationally could (and did) conclude.

What the immigration judge found is not necessarily dispositive, however. The Board of Immigration Appeals usually exercises the statutory power reposed in the Attorney General. Guentchev appealed to the Board, which sent him packing on a two-paragraph order that, beyond formal matters (and a grant of voluntary departure), says only: "As we find that the immigration judge adequately and correctly addressed the issues raised on appeal, his decision is affirmed based upon and for the reasons set forth in that decision." Guentchev argues at length that this summary affirmance violates the due process clause of the fifth amendment.

The Constitution does not entitle aliens to administrative appeals. Even litigants in the federal courts are not constitutionally entitled to multiple layers of review. The Attorney General could dispense with the Board and delegate her powers to the immigration judges, or could give the Board discretion to choose which cases to review (a la the Appeals Council of the Social Security

Page 1038

Administration, or the Supreme Court exercising its certiorari power). The combination of a reasoned decision by an administrative law judge plus review in a United States Court of Appeals satisfies constitutional requirements. See also Taylor v. McKeithen, 407 U.S. 191, 194 n. 4, 92 S.Ct. 1980, 1982 n. 4, 32 L.Ed.2d 648 (1972). But the...

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35 practice notes
  • Justice Department, Immigration and Naturalization Service,
    • United States
    • Federal Register August 26, 2002
    • August 26, 2002
    ...delegate his power to the immigration judges, or could give the Board discretion to choose which cases to review. See Guentchev v. INS, 77 F.3d 1036, 1037 (7th Cir. \3\ The Board was created by the Attorney General in 1940, after a transfer of functions from the Department of Labor. Reorg. ......
  • Dia v. Ashcroft, No. 02-2460.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • December 22, 2003
    ..."[a]n alien has no constitutional right to any administrative appeal at all," Albathani, 318 F.3d at 376; see also Guentchev v. INS, 77 F.3d 1036, 1037 (7th Cir.1996), and, therefore, no constitutional right to a "meaningful" administrative Nor are we persuaded by Dia's related argument tha......
  • A.M. v. Butler, No. 02-2882.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • March 2, 2004
    ...States v. Gomez, 24 F.3d 924, 928-30 (7th Cir.1994); United States v. Smith, 953 F.2d 1060, 1068 (7th Cir.1992); cf. Guentchev v. INS, 77 F.3d 1036 (7th Cir.1996). There is no equivalent need to protect Illinois from its own Attorney General, and no reason not to treat appeals in collateral......
  • Albathani v. I.N.S., No. 02-1541.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • February 6, 2003
    ...376 The context of the claim is important. An alien has no constitutional right to any administrative appeal at all. Guentchev v. INS, 77 F.3d 1036, 1037 (7th Cir.1996); see also Abney v. United States, 431 U.S. 651, 656, 97 S.Ct. 2034, 52 L.Ed.2d 651 (1977)(no constitutional right to appea......
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33 cases
  • Dia v. Ashcroft, No. 02-2460.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • December 22, 2003
    ..."[a]n alien has no constitutional right to any administrative appeal at all," Albathani, 318 F.3d at 376; see also Guentchev v. INS, 77 F.3d 1036, 1037 (7th Cir.1996), and, therefore, no constitutional right to a "meaningful" administrative Nor are we persuaded by Dia's related argument tha......
  • A.M. v. Butler, No. 02-2882.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • March 2, 2004
    ...States v. Gomez, 24 F.3d 924, 928-30 (7th Cir.1994); United States v. Smith, 953 F.2d 1060, 1068 (7th Cir.1992); cf. Guentchev v. INS, 77 F.3d 1036 (7th Cir.1996). There is no equivalent need to protect Illinois from its own Attorney General, and no reason not to treat appeals in collateral......
  • Albathani v. I.N.S., No. 02-1541.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • February 6, 2003
    ...376 The context of the claim is important. An alien has no constitutional right to any administrative appeal at all. Guentchev v. INS, 77 F.3d 1036, 1037 (7th Cir.1996); see also Abney v. United States, 431 U.S. 651, 656, 97 S.Ct. 2034, 52 L.Ed.2d 651 (1977)(no constitutional right to appea......
  • Denko v. I.N.S., No. 02-3746.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • December 8, 2003
    ...determination subject to review when the Board has adopted the IJ's findings or has deferred to the IJ's decision. See Guentchev v. INS, 77 F.3d 1036, 1038 (7th Cir.1996) ("To adopt someone else's reasoned explanation is to give reasons."); Abdulai, 239 F.3d at 549 n. 2; Chen v. INS, 87 F.3......
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