On January 26, 2022, the ACLU-NH filed an amicus brief in this case arguing that the First Circuit should narrow its ruling in Meng Hua Wan v. Holder, 776 F.3d 52 (1st Cir. 2015).  In Meng Hua Wan, the First Circuit ruled that, to secure First Circuit review of a claim that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) unlawfully engaged in factual findings, the non-citizen must exhaust any such claim by first filing a motion to reconsider with the BIA.  As argued in the amicus brief, exhaustion had been satisfied in this case and no motion to reconsider before the BIA was necessary to secure First Circuit review of the non-citizen's claim.  This is because—unlike Meng Hua Wan—Petitioner and the Department of Homeland Security had already squarely put the BIA on notice that the BIA did not have de novo review authority of the Immigration Judge’s factual findings, thus preserving the non-citizen's claim for appellate review.

On April 19, 2022, the First Circuit issued a decision agreeing to limit the scope of Meng Hua Wan's motion for reconsideration requirement to cases where “the BIA makes findings of disputed issues of fact concerning legal claims that the [Immigration Judge] did not consider in the first instance.”  Thus, in a significant procedural victory, the Court held that an immigrant need not file a motion to reconsider before the BIA to exhaust a claim that the BIA failed to apply the clear error review standard in reversing the Immigration Judge’s factual findings.


Gilles Bissonnette, ACLU-NH Legal Director, and SangYeob Kim, ACLU-NH Staff Attorney

Date filed

January 26, 2022


First Circuit Court of Appeals



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