Matter of L-E-A-

Last Updated

November 3, 2021

On June 16, 2021, the Attorney General issued a decision, Matter of L-E-A- III, 28 I&N Dec. 304 (AG 2021), vacating Matter of L-E-A-II, 27 I&N Dec. 581 (A.G. 2019). L-E-A- II had held that the family is not inherently socially distinct and overruled the finding in L-E-A- I, 27 I&N Dec. 40 (BIA 2017) that Mr. L-E-A-’s father’s immediate family could be a particular social group. CLINIC filed suit challenging the implementation of L-E-A- II in November 2019 and joined a letter on April 13, 2021, calling on Attorney General Garland to vacate L-E-A- II. CLINIC also filed a federal lawsuit challenging the USCIS guidance memo implementing Matter of L-E-A- II. That lawsuit, S.A.P. v. Garland, remains pending.

The vacatur of L-E-A- II returns the state of the law to that of L-E-A- I, which recognized that families can constitute particular social groups. L-E-A- I also presented important issues concerning nexus, which the Attorney General indicated will be taken up in a forthcoming rulemaking. See Matter of A-B-, 28 I&N Dec. 307, 309 (A.G. 2021). CLINIC will provide comments and updates on the ongoing rulemaking process concerning particular social group analysis.

CLINIC is counsel in L-E-A- and is monitoring how government officials and immigration judges are interpreting the law following the vacatur of L-E-A- II. To that end, please share with CLINIC redacted copies of any decisions that rely on L-E-A- I or L-E-A- II with Bradley Jenkins at




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