Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jacinto v. INS case brief

Jacinto v. INS case brief summary
208 F.3d 725 (2000)

Petitioner Guatemalan national sought review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals which denied her application for asylum and withholding of deportation, and denied voluntary departure pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C.S. § 1254(e).

Petitioner filed an asylum application with respondent, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, on behalf of herself and her son. The denial of her application was upheld by the Board of Immigration Appeals.


  • On appeal, the court reversed, holding that petitioner's due process rights were violated. 
  • Petitioner did not receive a full and fair hearing because the immigration judges inadequately explained the hearings' procedures and what petitioner's various roles could be at the hearing, and failed to tell petitioner that she could present her own affirmative testimony in narrative form. 
  • Petitioner was also denied a reasonable opportunity to present her evidence supporting her claim for asylum. 
  • Petitioner suffered prejudice because due to her lack of understanding of the procedures, she repeatedly stated she would not return to Guatemala when asked if she would voluntarily depart from the U.S., which she clearly wished to do if her application was denied.
Decision reversed for denial of due process rights. Petitioner did not receive a full and fair hearing because judges failed to explain hearing procedures and she was denied an opportunity to present evidence. Petitioner suffered prejudice because she did not understand the implications of her negative responses regarding voluntarily departing.

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