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United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Maria GUERRERO CUEVAS; et al., Petitioners, v. William P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent.

No. 18-73327

Decided: November 25, 2019

Before: CANBY, TASHIMA, and CHRISTEN, Circuit Judges. Nicholas W. Marchi, Carney & Marchi, PS, Seattle, WA, for Petitioners Chief Counsel ICE, Office of the Chief Counsel, Department of Homeland Security, San Francisco, CA, Andrew Jacob Oliveira, Trial Attorney, Benjamin Zeitlin, Trial Attorney, DOJ - U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division/Office of Immigration Litigation, Washington, DC, for Respondent


Maria Guerrero Cuevas, and her three children, natives and citizens of Mexico, petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) order dismissing their appeal from an immigration judge’s (“IJ”) decision denying their application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We review de novo claims of due process violations in immigration proceedings. Jiang v. Holder, 754 F.3d 733, 738 (9th Cir. 2014). We grant the petition for review and remand.

Petitioners contend the BIA erred in its determination that the IJ did not violate their right to due process. Specifically, petitioners assert that the IJ failed to fully develop the record, and failed to adequately explain the immigration hearing procedures and what petitioners were required to prove in order to establish their eligibility for relief. We agree. See Agyeman v. INS, 296 F.3d 871, 877 (9th Cir. 2002) (due process violation where IJ failed to adequately explain to pro se applicant the hearing procedures and what the applicant had to prove in order to support his claims); Jacinto v. INS, 208 F.3d 725, 734 (9th Cir. 2000) (immigration judges are obligated to fully develop the record where applicants appear without counsel). Thus, we grant the petition for review and remand to the agency for further proceedings consistent with this disposition. See INS v. Ventura, 537 U.S. 12, 16-18, 123 S.Ct. 353, 154 L.Ed.2d 272 (2002) (per curiam).

In light of this disposition, we do not reach petitioners’ remaining contentions regarding the agency’s denial of asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT.

The government must bear the costs for this petition for review.


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