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Case Highlight: Patel v. Garland
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Supreme Court Case – Patel v. Garland

Introduction

Supreme Court Building

Welcome to the official KKTP page for Patel v. Garland, an immigration case that will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the Fall 2021 term! The Patel family is represented before the Supreme Court by Ira Kurzban and KKTP, co-counseled by Mark Fleming and the law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. Consider this page your “one-stop-shop” for everything Patel!

The issue in Patel is complicated and has big implications for immigration law nationwide. The Supreme Court will be reviewing a decision issued by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, also known as an en banc decision. The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether an immigration provision, INA § 242(a)(2)(B)(i) “preserves the jurisdiction of federal courts to review a nondiscretionary determination that a noncitizen is ineligible for certain types of discretionary relief.”

Before the Eleventh Circuit’s en banc decision in Patel, there existed a general consensus among the circuits that INA § 242(a)(2)(B)(i), applies only to discretionary aspects of the forms of relief listed in the jurisdiction-stripping statute. Under prior settled interpretation, judicial review remained available for any challenge to non-discretionary threshold eligibility criteria. For example, if the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) denied cancellation of removal because the respondent failed to establish seven or ten years of continuous residence, challenges to that denial remained reviewable. Similarly, if the BIA denied adjustment of status based on inadmissibility findings against a respondent (as occurred in the case of Mr. Patel), that inadmissibility determination remained fully reviewable on petition for review, even if the inadmissibility ground was not charged in the Notice to Appear (“NTA”). Review remained available because the denial of relief was based on the noncitizen’s failure to satisfy a non-discretionary eligibility requirement, and such denials involve no “judgment” or discretion.

In Patel, the en banc Eleventh Circuit rejected that settled understanding in favor of an “expansive” interpretation of INA § 242(a)(2)(B)(i). Under the Patel majority’s reading, no review is available for any decision regarding the relief specified above (or other forms)—including non-discretionary threshold eligibility criteria. The only exception is for legal or constitutional claims, which remain reviewable under INA § 242(a)(2)(D). Five Eleventh Circuit judges dissented. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide the jurisdictional question presented. KKTP and WilmerHale will urge the Supreme Court to reverse the Eleventh Circuit to hold that the jurisdiction stripping provision is not as expansive as the Eleventh Circuit majority believes.

Articles & Media Coverage

This case has been featured in a number of news articles and other publications, including:

Podcasts

We have discussed Patel v. Garland in several of our weekly immigration podcast episodes. Check them out to learn more about this complicated issue!

Docket Links

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