Crimmigration Clinic receives favorable decision in Dor v. Garland 

On August 19, the First Circuit Court of Appeals released its decision in Dor v. Garland. Crimmigration Clinic Director Philip Torrey and HLS clinical students Shaiba Rather ‘21, Lena Melillo ‘22, and Katie Quigley ‘21, were on brief for Jonalson Dor, along with attorney Edward Crane. In this case, the petitioner, Mr. Dor, was seeking judicial review of a Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) decision affirming an immigration judge’s (“IJ”) decision to deny Dor’s applications for relief from removal based on two marijuana offenses that the IJ and BIA deemed “particularly serious crimes” bars.  

Mr. Dor’s legal team argued that BIA failed to take the proper steps in order to reach the “particularly serious crime” bar conclusion and that the BIA should, instead, remand the matter to the IJ to apply the multi-factor test for convictions that are not aggravated felonies, as set forth in Matter of Frentescu. The First Circuit sided with this argument, stating: “The BIA’s particularly-serious-crime conclusion is devoid of any actual application of the Frentescu factors, and even if we considered it a solid application of the law to Dor’s case, we still do not have a sufficiently rational explanation of the BIA’s particularly-serious-crime conclusion as to Dor’s minor marijuana offenses, and a rational explanation is necessary to ensure Dor was appropriately precluded from obtaining the humanitarian relief he seeks.” 

Mr. Dor’s petition will now be remanded to the IJ for further consideration.