Brown v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 08-18-2014
  • Case #: 11-71458
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Clifton for the Court; Circuit Judges Tallman and Benavides.
  • Full Text Opinion

It is a violation of due process when the Immigration and Naturalization Service either intentionally or arbitrarily obstructs applications for naturalization.

Mark Brown (“Brown”) was born in India and moved to the United States as a teenager with his family. Brown’s parents began the naturalization process with the understanding that Brown would be grandfathered in as a citizen if they were naturalized prior to his eighteenth birthday. Due to logistical errors, Brown was not officially naturalized and after various criminal episodes, Brown was removed from the United States back to India. Brown brought a case to the Board of Immigration Appeals claiming that he should not have been removed, as he should have been deemed a United States Citizen at the same time his parents were naturalized. The judge in that court determined that Brown had not provided substantial evidence of citizenship and therefore denied his claim. The Ninth Circuit agreed to review the disputed claim of citizenship because if it were found that Brown was a citizen, his deportation would be unconstitutional. The panel held that if Brown can prove that the Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS”) either intentionally or arbitrarily obstructed his application, that that would be a violation of due process. The panel transferred this case to district court for evidentiary findings and held that if it is determined that INS acted unconstitutionally, it would consider ordering the INS to grant Brown his citizenship. DENIED IN PART, DISMISSED IN PART, TRANSFERRED IN PART.

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