Pllumi v. Atty Gen. of the United States, No. 09-4454 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
In 2007 the Board of Immigration Appeals denied a petition for asylum and to withhold removal brought by an Albanian citizen who had entered the United States illegally. In 2009 the BIA declined to reopen the case to consider a claim for asylum based on health care concerns. The Third Circuit remanded for clarification. The BIA acted within its discretion in finding the motion untimely. There is no time limit on a motion to reopen if conditions in the home country have changed, but there was insufficient proof of such a change in this case. The BIA retained discretion to reopen the case sua sponte. While noting that the BIA's discretion on a sua sponte motion is "essentially complete," the court stated that it may point out a possible misperception of the law. Economic disadvantage is not a "serious harm" that would justify reopening the case, but unavailability of needed health care could qualify in some circumstances.