Sandoval v. Holder, 641 F.3d 982 (8th Cir. 2011)
On behalf of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, and together with pro bono co-counsel from the law firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P., Benjamin challenged the BIA’s position that unaccompanied alien children are subject to life-time banishment from the United States under 8 U.S.C. §1182(a)(6)(C)(ii) if they make a false claim of U.S. citizenship. The Eighth Circuit granted the appeal and sent the case back to the BIA, instructing the agency to explain why the harshest immigration penalty applicable to adults would also apply to children.
Salguero Fuentes, et. al. v. Holder, 516 F.3d 399 (8th Cir. 2009)
On behalf of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, Benjamin led this successful appeal by Salvadoran immigrants asserting their statutory right to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in immigration court. The Eighth Circuit remanded and ordered the BIA to expedite a decision reconsidering the statutory claim, which forced the agency to publish a precedent, Matter of Lopez-Aldana, 25 I. & N. Dec. 49 (B.I.A. 2009), that fully vindicated Salguero Fuente’s interpretation of the statute and now provides unrestricted immigration court review for all TPS applicants nationwide
Negusie v. Holder, 129 S. Ct. 1159 (2009)
Benjamin served as counsel of record for amicus curiae The Advocates For Human Rights. With pro bono co-counsel from the law firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P., Benjamin authored this amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in support of an Ethiopian asylum applicant, urging the court to reject the BIA’s restrictive interpretation of the asylum “persecutor bar” at 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(42).
Garcia v. Shanahan, et al., 615 F. Supp. 2d 175 (S.D.N.Y. 2009)
Kate and a fellow student in the Immigrant Rights Clinic at New York University School of Law filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus behalf of their client who was being held under the mandatory detention statute, 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c), after he was arrested but never charged for a criminal offense. Kate argued before the federal district court that the BIA’s interpretation of the statute was contrary to the statute’s plain language and not entitled to Chevron deference. The district court agreed and granted habeas relief. The BIA later cited this decision when it reversed its position. Matter of Garcia Arreola, 25 I. & N. Dec. 267 (BIA 2010).
Cuadra v. Gonzales, 417 F.3d 947 (8th Cir. 2005)
Benjamin won this appeal on behalf of a Salvadoran immigrant who the BIA had declared ineligible to apply for relief under the Nicaraguan and Cuban Adjustment and Central American Relief Act of 1998. The Eighth Circuit agreed that the BIA’s decision violated the plain meaning of the controlling statute and regulations.
Reyes-Vasquez v. Ashcroft, 395 F.3d 903 (8th Cir. 2005)
Benjamin was counsel of record in this successful appeal challenging the government’s test for measuring “continuous physical presence” under the cancellation of removal statute 8 U.S.C. §1229b(b).
Hernandez v. Reno, 258 F.3d 806 (8th Cir. 2001)
Benjamin litigated this challenge to the BIA’s standard for determining whether an asylum applicant can be denied relief as an individual who has “assisted or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person” under 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(42). The Eighth Circuit remanded, agreeing that the BIA had failed to properly evaluate whether Hernandez could be held personally culpable for acts of persecution perpetrated by members of a guerilla unit that had forcibly recruited him during the Guatemalan civil war.
Holiday Inn Express litigation (2000)
Benjamin was lead immigration counsel for 8 undocumented Mexican immigrants arrested by INS immediately after organizing a union at the Minneapolis hotel where they were employed as housekeepers. After the hotel entered a landmark settlement with EEOC and paid the workers $72,000, Benjamin negotiated an unprecedented settlement with INS granting 7 of the workers the right to remain in the United States with deferred action status and employment authorization in light of the government’s interference with their unionizing activities.