SangYeob Kim is a Senior Staff Attorney specializing in immigration law at the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire in the United States. He has a JD from the University of Iowa College of Law and a BA in International Affairs from the George Washington University. His work focuses on individuals' statutory and constitutional rights in deportation proceedings and interpretations of the Refugee and Torture Conventions in domestic federal courts. SangYeob was previously an adjunct clinical law professor at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law. He ran the law school's Immigration Clinic.
The following published decisions are a few examples of SangYeob's work:
- Guerra-Castaneda v. the United States, Civil Action 22-10711-NMG (D. Mass. Feb. 16, 2013) (Convention Against Torture - denying the federal government's motion to dismiss and found that the torture victim's tort claim against the federal government can proceed to a trial; the federal government unlawfully deported the plaintiff despite the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit's stay of deportation order, and the plaintiff was detained and tortured in El Salvador upon deportation)
- H.H. v. Garland, 52 F.4th 8 (1st Cir. 2022) (Convention Against Torture – rejecting the agency’s interpretation on acquiescence standard; holding that the agency must meaningfully engage with the de facto non-government state actor claim because it may well be construed under color of law through domestic law; Former U.S. Special Rapporteurs on Torture submitted an amicus brief)
- Gomes v. US DHS, 460 F. Supp. 3d 132 (D.N.H. 2020) (immigration detention - constitutionality of immigration detention conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic)
- Chavez v. Garland, 51 F.4th 424 (1st Cir. 2022) (asylum/withholding of removal – rejecting the agency’s categorical denial of imputed gang membership as a basis for protection)
- Rivera-Medrano v. Garland, 47 F.4th 29 (1st Cir. 2022) (asylum/withholding of removal/Convention Against Torture - the significance of a psychological assessment report as evidence for traumatized asylum seekers)
- Hernandez Lara v. Barr, 962 F.3d 45 (1st Cir. 2020) (asylum/withholding of removal/Convention Against Torture - asylum seeker's statutory right to counsel during deportation proceedings)
- Hernandez Lara v. Lyons, 10 F.4th 19 (1st Cir. 2021) (immigration detention - holding that placing a burden on asylum seekers at detention hearings is unconstitutional)
- Adeyanju v. Garland, 27 F.4th 25 (1st Cir. 2022) (standard of review in deportation proceedings - clarifying the scope of the immigration appellate agency's review of the immigration judge's factual findings)
- Barros v. Garland, 31 F.4th 51 (1st Cir. 2022) (access to federal court - declining to require a motion to reconsider to statutorily exhaust the administrative remedy that the immigration appellate agency failed to apply the proper appellate review standard on an immigration judge's factual findings)
- Compere v. Nielsen, 358 F. Supp. 3d 170 (D.N.H. 2019) (access to federal court - lawfulness of premature deportation of a Convention Against Torture applicant).
SangYeob has written an article on Non-State Actors 'Under Color of Law:' Closing a Gap in Protection Under the CAT, which has been published in Harvard Human Rights Journal (Vol. 35, Spring 2022).
SangYeob has also received awards. The COVID-19 class action team, in which he was co-counsel, was awarded the New Hampshire Association for Justice (NHAJ) Granite State Advocate Award in 2021. In 2022, he received the Stay, Work, Play’s Young Person of the Year Rising Star award in New Hampshire.
Prior to law school, SangYeob served as an infantry officer in the South Korea Marine Corps. His positions included an infantry platoon commander, an executive officer for an infantry company, an assistant promotion officer at the South Korean Marine Corps Headquarters, and a liaison officer to the United States Marine Corps Forces, Korea. As a liaison officer to the United States forces, he coordinated war planning, theater operations, and military and diplomatic events. He was honorably discharged as First Lieutenant.
SangYeob is a native Korean speaker and fluent in English and French. He has obtained the DALF C1 French language diploma. SangYeob is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the American Society of International Law.