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Almanza-Arenas v. Holder (Immigration Consequences of Crimes)

On November 10, 2014 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Almanza-Arenas v. Holder in favor a of a noncitizen fighting his deportation. In May 2013, the Immigrants' Rights Clinic– with students Pat Gutierrez (JD ‘14) and Mia Crager (JD ‘14) – helped to prepare and file an amicus brief on behalf of various immigrants’ rights organizations, urging the Court to rule that a noncitizen should not be precluded from securing  humanitarian immigration relief based on his or her criminal record, when his or her prior criminal records do not conclusively demonstrate that the noncitizen is subject to the legal bar.

The Ninth Circuit Court agreed with the IRC that its prior contrary decision in Young v. Holder, 697 F.3d 976 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc), was abrogated by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Moncrieffe v. Holder, 133 S. Ct. 1678 (2013)– another case in which the Mills Legal Clinic was deeply involved. Monday’s decision is the first of its kind in the country.  ◊