Miller v. Sessions, No. 15-72645 (9th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's holding that 8 U.S.C. 1231(a)(5) deprived the immigration court of jurisdiction to resolve petitioner's motion to reopen. 8 U.S.C. 1229a(b)(5) authorizes immigration judges to order non-citizens removed from the country in absentia. 8 U.S.C. 1231(a)(5) applies to non-citizens who (1) are ordered removed, (2) leave the United States while under the order of removal, and (3) reenter the country illegally. Determining that it had jurisdiction over the petition, the panel held that section 1231(a)(5) does not bar immigration judges from entertaining a motion to reopen an in absentia removal order under section 1229a(b)(5)(C)(ii). The panel also held that an individual placed in reinstatement proceedings under section 1231(a)(5) cannot as a general rule challenge the validity of the prior removal order in the reinstatement proceeding itself, she retains the right, conferred by section 1229a(b)(5)(C)(ii), to seek rescission of a removal order entered in absentia, based on lack of notice, by filing a motion to reopen "at any time." Therefore, the panel remanded so that the agency could decide petitioner's motion to reopen on the merits.