Attorney Nora E. Milner Wins Precedent-Setting Case

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Nora E. Milner, senior partner of Milner & Markee, LLP, wins a landmark case concerning the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, while contesting the “habitual drunkard” classification in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Nora E. Milner, Milner & Markee, LLP

We are very happy with the outcome of this appeal and the Court’s decision. And look forward to its favorable application to others in the same situation.

Immigration attorney Nora E. Milner recently won a landmark case in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (Case No. 12-73289), Ledezma-Cosino v. Lynch, regarding a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, thus setting a precedent in that a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Sect. 101(f)(1),8 U.S.C. Sect. 1101(f)(1), referring to the term of “habitual drunkard” was deemed unconstitutional. The case stemmed from decisions by an immigration judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) (Case No. A091-723-478) previously finding that her client, Salomon Ledezma-Cosino, “lacked good moral character” by virtue of his classification as a “habitual drunkard” under the INA. As such, the judge and BIA initially denied Ledezma-Cosino’s request to cancel his removal from the United States or to leave voluntarily because he was labeled a “habitual drunkard.”

According to court documents, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the “habitual drunkard” statutory bar to establishing good moral character violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, because there is no rational basis to classify people afflicted with chronic alcoholism as innately lacking good moral character. The Equal Protection Clause requires that no state shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” and applies to all persons in the United States, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.

Court documents state that the panel granted Ledezma-Cosino’s petition for review of the BIA’s decision which found him ineligible for cancellation of removal or voluntary departure because he lacked good moral character as a “habitual drunkard,” and remanded for further proceedings in light of the decision. The Court also awarded costs to Petitioner Ledezma-Cosino. “We are very happy with the outcome of this appeal and the Court’s decision,” said Milner, “and look forward to its favorable application to others in the same situation.”

About Nora E. Milner, Milner & Markee, LLP
Nora E. Milner is a Certified Specialist in U.S.Immigration and Nationality Law by the State Bar of California, and an 8-year recipient of the “Super Lawyer” award, an honor reserved for only the best immigration attorneys. In practice for nearly 30 years, she maintains two offices, San Diego and Palm Desert. For more information, please visit http://www.milner-markee.com.

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