BC Law’s Ninth Circuit Appellate Program has added another victory to its growing list of successful arguments on behalf of clients facing various immigration issues. These wins represent not only complex lessons for students but also potentially life-altering outcomes for the people they represent.
The latest success came in May when the Ninth Circuit granted a petition briefed and argued by Jovalin Dedaj ’16 and Cristina Manzano ’16 (under the supervision Professor Kari Hong). The court provided a review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decision that had found client Guillermo Vera-Valdevinos ineligible to apply for cancellation of removal based on a drug conviction. In Guillermo Vera-Valdevinos v Loretta E. Lynch, said Hong, “BC Law just ended deportation for most of Arizona drug crimes.”
Kara Hartzler, a federal defender and national expert in criminal immigration matters who has extensive experience in the Ninth Circuit, put it another way. “It is hard to underestimate the impact of this watershed decision. Professor Hong and her students continue to be at the cutting edge of appellate litigation, bringing transformative change to an area of law on behalf of indigent and marginalized immigrants. They are single-handedly changing lives—not only those of their individual clients, but all those who come after and reap the benefits of their hard-fought victories.”