The Cleveland-Marshall Appellate Practice Clinic has secured a victory in the Sixth Circuit in an immigration case, Ramirez-Lopez v. Garland, No. 21-3794.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is not known for granting petitions filed by non-citizens. In fact, the vast majority of those petitions, many of which filed by immigrants who speak English as a second or third language, are summarily rejected. To be sure, these rejections may be understood in light of the fact that they come before the Court after two reviews — first by an Immigration Judge and then by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
Mr. Ramirez-Lopez’s Petition did not seem different at first. Filed pro-se, it was summarily rejected by the Court after short review. But then the unexpected happened: the Biden Administration changed its policy regarding U-Visa petitions, which was at issue in Mr. Ramirez-Lopez’s petition. The Sixth Circuit, on its own accord, issued a new decision inviting supplemental briefs on the application of the new policy, as well as ordering that Petitioner would be represented by Counsel.
The Court then appointed the Cleveland-Marshall Appellate Practice Clinic to represent Ramirez-Lopez. The Clinic argued first that the new policy applied in this case and therefore it was justified to remand the matter to the BIA for further consideration. The Government, in response, agreed that the new policy applied, but claimed that in light of the Court’s first opinion the matter was moot, and that the issue could no longer be returned to the BIA. The Clinic, in response, argued that the Court’s New Order superseded the first, and therefore that the matter could — and should — be remanded. The Court, weighing these two arguments, held that “we think that Ramirez Lopez has the better argument,” and therefore remanded the case.
This was an incredible win for the Client, and a great achievement for the Clinic. Students Katrice Williams, Victoria Kekkel, and Nicole Johnson worked tirelessly to ensure a timely submission of the briefs, and constant review of the expanded record in this case. Adjunct Professor, proud alum, and immigration Super-Lawyer Tanya Linetsky provided valuable advice and guidance. Professor Doron Kalir served as the attorney of record and supervised the work.