Gibson Dunn & Crutcher Wins at the Fourth Circuit

CAIR Coalition congratulates pro bono lead counsel Michael Huston at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher for winning the argument at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that Virginia statutory burglary is not an aggravated felony theft or burglary offense and is indivisible. This means that no future noncitizen can ever again be deported or barred from a defense to deportation for having a Virginia burglary conviction categorized by the government as an aggravated felony theft or burglary offense. 

The case involved a young man who was deported without getting to present his case in immigration court.  He was denied the chance to argue this case because he was in a fast-track form of deportation known as “administrative removal."  When he appealed his case after being deported and having no other way back into the United States, the government revoked his deportation order in an attempt to deprive him of his appeal.  In most of the country, federal appeals courts have not heard appeals of these administrative deportation orders if the government attempts to evade the appeals court by withdrawing that underlying deportation order.  Thanks to this case, Castendet-Lewis v. Sessions, No. 15-2484 (4th Cir. April 25, 2017), the Fourth Circuit is also now one of only two circuits that has ruled it does have such appeal authority in this type of case (the other court being the Third Circuit).

Countless future noncitizens facing detention and deportation in these circumstances will benefit from this wide-reaching holding. Many kudos to Michael Huston for successfully securing this impactful decision!