Dada v. Mukasey

Dada filed a motion with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to reopen his immigration case. Dada, a citizen of Nigeria, entered the United States in 1998 and remained in the country beyond the authorized period. An immigration judge (IJ) ordered Dada to be removed but granted his request for voluntary departure. The BIA affirmed the IJ’s decision. Dada then filed a motion to reopen on the ground that he was seeking an adjustment of status. He also sought leave to withdraw his request for voluntary departure. The BIA denied Dada’s motion to reopen because he failed to leave the United States by the imposed deadline for voluntary departure and thus was statutorily ineligible for an adjustment of status, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1229c(d).

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Dada's petition for review, concluding that the BIA's interpretation of the statute was reasonable.

Questions Presented:

1. Whether the filing of a motion to reopen removal proceedings automatically tolls the period within which an alien must depart the United States under an order granting voluntary departure.

2. Whether an alien who has been granted voluntary departure and has filed a timely motion to reopen should be permitted to withdraw the request for voluntary departure prior to the expiration of the departure period.

Decision under Review

Supreme Court Opinion