The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Tuesday that federal courts hold a limited role in the review of immigration judge findings, reversing a lower court decision that increased immigration relief.
“The Ninth Circuit erred by treating credibility as dispositive of both persuasiveness and legal sufficiency in these cases. Even setting aside the credibility of Mr. Alcaraz-Enriquez or Mr. Dai, perhaps the BIA did not find their evidence persuasive or sufficient to meet their burden on essential questions,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote concerning the decision.
“In Mr. Alcaraz-Enriquez’s case, the probation report may have outweighed his testimony. Similarly, in Mr. Dai’s case, his later admissions about his family’s voluntary return and his decision to stay in this country for economic reasons may have outweighed his initial testimony about his past and feared future persecution,” he added.
The case involved both “Cesar Alcaraz-Enriquez, a previously deported illegal alien from Mexico, and Ming Dai, a Chinese national who first arrived on a B-2 tourist visa, had sought asylum in the U.S.,” according to Breitbart News.
Despite other factors involved in the case, the court reversed the lower court’s decision that favored the testimony of the immigrants’ testimonies.
“It is long since settled that a reviewing court is ‘generally not free to impose’ additional judge-made procedural requirements on agencies that Congress has not prescribed and the Constitution does not compel,” Gorsuch added.
The case has strong implications. Illegal immigrant testimony will continue to be distinguished under the court’s precedent.
During a time when the nation faces much concern regarding illegal immigration, the case noted the Constitution’s focus on America’s citizens.