S.E.R.L. v. Attorney General United States

PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT _____________ No. 17-2031 _____________ S.E.R.L.; Y.N.S.R.; Y.Y.R.L., Petitioners v. ATTORNEY GENERAL UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ______________ On Petition for Review of an Order of the United States Department of Justice Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA-1:A206-800-692, A206-800-690, A206-800-691) Immigration Judge: Hon. John B. Carle _______________ ARGUED March 12, 2018 Before: JORDAN, KRAUSE, and GREENBERG, Circuit Judges (Filed: July 3, 2018) _______________ David C. Bennion 1706 N. 2nd Street - #L4 Philadelphia, PA 19122 Elizabeth A. Cuneo Russell H. Falconer [ARGUED] Chelsea G. Glover Gibson Dunn & Crutcher 2100 McKinney Avenue - #1100 Dallas, TX 75201 Charles Roth Lisa Koop Ashley Huebner National Immigrant Justice Center 208 South LaSalle Street Chicago, IL 60604 Counsel for Petitioners Jefferson B. Sessions, III Chad A. Readler Anthony P. Nicastro Sheri R. Glaser [ARGUED] United States Department of Justice Office of Immigration Litigation P. O. Box 878 Ben Franklin Station Washington, DC 20044 Counsel for Respondents 2 Blaine M. Bookey Anne Dutton Eunice Lee Karen Musalo Hastings College of the Law Center for Gender & Refugee Studies 200 McAllister Street San Francisco, CA 94102 Amicus Counsel for American Immigration Lawyers Association, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, and Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society PA Kirsten L. Nathanson Crowell & Moring 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20004 Emily T. Kuwahara Daniel P. Wierzba Crowell & Moring 515 S. Flower Street 40th Fl. Los Angeles, CA 90071 Tu-Quyen Pham Crowell & Moring 3 Park Plaza, 20th Fl. Irvine, CA 92694 Amicus Counsel for NIWAP Inc. and Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence 3 _______________ OPINION OF THE COURT _______________ JORDAN, Circuit Judge In this immigration case, we consider the term “particular social group,” which is part of the definition of “refugee” in the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(42). We must decide whether a revised interpretation of that term by the Board of Immigration Appeals (the “BIA” or the “Board”) is reasonable and therefore entitled to deference under the strictures of Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984). Like other circuit courts, we had dutifully deferred to the initial interpretation of that term given by the Board in Matter of Acosta, 19 I. & N. Dec. 211, 233 (BIA 1985), overruled on other grounds by Matter of Mogharrabi, 19 I. & N. Dec. 439 (BIA 1987). Fatin v. I.N.S., 12 F.3d 1233, 1239-40 (3d Cir. 1993). But, over time, the Board began adding new requirements to its test for determining whether an applicant had established the existence of a particular social group and could thereby claim refugee status. In Valdiviezo-Galdamez v. Attorney General, 663 F.3d 582 (3d Cir. 2011), we concluded that the BIA had departed from Acosta without a principled explanation and that its new requirements for proving a particular social group were incapable of consistent application. We therefore held that its interpretation of “particular social group” was not entitled to Chevron deference. Id. at 608. 4 The BIA ...

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