Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Ventura

PETITIONER: Immigration and Naturalization Service
RESPONDENT: Fredy Orlando Ventura
LOCATION: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

DOCKET NO.: 02-29
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1986-2005)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 537 US 12 (2002)
DECIDED: Nov 04, 2002
GRANTED: Nov 04, 2002

Facts of the case

Fredy Orlando Ventura illegally entered the United States in 1993. In 1998, an immigration judge heard Orlando Ventura’s request for asylum in the United States; he claimed that his political views made him a target for guerilla armies in Guatemala. The judge denied Orlando Ventura’s request, despite recognizing that Orlando Ventura’s fears of prosecution may be legitimate, because the political climate in Guatemala had drastically changed since Orlando Ventura had arrived in the United States and therefore he was no longer in danger. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed the judgment of the immigration judge, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was “compelled” by Orlando Ventura’s testimony to reverse the lower court’s decision and subsequently denied remand to the BIA.

Question

Should an appellate court remand a case to an agency when additional investigation within the agency’s area of expertise may be required?