A recent 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision — a ruling invalidating a regulation that barred permanent residents from asking the Bureau of Immigration Appeals to reopen their cases after they’ve been deported — could affect thousands of other cases and spark similar legal challenges in other circuits.

The plaintiff in the case, Tunbosun Olawale William, a Nigerian native and permanent legal resident of the United States, asked the Bureau of Immigration Appeals to reopen his case after his criminal conviction was vacated. The BIA rejected his request because he was already outside the United States. William v. Gonzales, No. 06-1284 (4th Cir. 2007).

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