Marinelarena v. Session

Brief of Amici Curiae Immigrant Defense Project, American Immigration Lawyers Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, et al., in Support of Petitioner Upon Grant of Rehearing En Banc.

Brief filed: 06/29/2018


Marinelarena v. Session

9th Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. 14-72003

Prior Decision

Grant of rehearing en banc 886 F.3d 737 (9th Cir. March 29, 2018)


Young diverges from the rationale for the Categorical Approach, produces inconsistent immigration outcomes, and undercuts due process considerations. Young frustrates the underlying purpose of the Categorical Approach: to ensure efficiency and predictability in immigration outcomes. Young bars noncitizens from relief even when courts do not regularly maintain the necessary records or when records have been destroyed. Criminal records, especially in cases involving lower-level offenses are often poorly created and maintained. Criminal courts routinely destroy criminal records, creating unfair and inconsistent immigration outcomes. The government is in a far superior position to obtain records than noncitizens, who are often detained, unrepresented, and non-English speaking. Young’s divergence from the Categorical Approach unfairly affects noncitizens in a wide variety of immigration adjudications, both adversarial and non-adversarial.


Manuel Vargas and Andrew Wachtenheim, Immigrant Defense Project; Jayashri Srikantiah, Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, Mills Legal Clinic, Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA.

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