The clinic assisted M, a lawful permanent resident (“green card” holder) from Fiji who has lived in the United States with his family for the past 21 years. M had some minor brushes with the criminal justice system as a young adult, and DHS alleged that the government could deport M based on a 1999 conviction. M’s removal case was dismissed after the clinic submitted a brief on his behalf to immigration court arguing that M’s 1999 conviction could not lead to his deportation under Ninth Circuit case law.
Melinda Koster (’11) and Shira Levine(’11) moved to dismiss the deportation proceedings against M arguing that DHS failed to meet its burden of proof under the federal immigration laws. After extensive strategic thinking, legal research and consultation with their client, Melinda and Shira submitted a legal brief to the immigration court arguing that M’s 1999 conviction could not lead to his deportation under Ninth Circuit case law. The Immigration Judge agreed with Melinda and Shira’s reasoning and ruled that the government cannot deport M. This victory built on the success of Orion Danjuma (’10) and Jenny Kim (’11), who previously defeated DHS’s initial charge that M.A. was removable as an “aggravated felon,” a classification that would have resulted in almost certain deportation to Fiji.