McAllister v. Attorney General

444 F.3d 178 (2006)

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McAllister v. Attorney General

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
444 F.3d 178 (2006)

  • Written by Tammy Boggs, JD

Facts

Before and after the 1980s, a violent political conflict occurred in Northern Ireland. Certain forces—loyalists and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)—wished to remain part of the United Kingdom, while opposing forces, including the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), wanted to become part of Ireland. In the early 1980s, Malachy McAllister (defendant) became a member of the INLA and admittedly participated in two incidents. Malachy served as a lookout while other INLA members shot an RUC officer, and Malachy conspired to shoot and kill an RUC officer. Malachy served seven years in prison for his offenses. Upon release, Malachy, his wife, Sarah McAllister, and their children were viciously attacked by loyalist and RUC forces. The family’s home was fired upon while the young children were in the house. The McAllisters were denied asylum in Canada and eventually entered the United States on visitor visas. In 1999, the government (plaintiff) initiated removal proceedings. Malachy and Sarah filed applications for asylum, with the children listed as derivative applicants on Sarah’s application. The immigration judge found that Malachy was removable but granted asylum to Sarah and the children. On appeal, the Board of Immigration Appeals entered removal orders for all the McAllisters, finding that Malachy had engaged in terrorist activities and that the other family members had overstayed their visitor visas. The McAllisters petitioned the court of appeals for review. While the petitions were pending, Sarah died of cancer, and the children failed to file a timely independent application for asylum. Malachy asserted a constitutional challenge to the definition of “terrorist activity” under the Immigration and Nationality Act and the propriety of the definition as applied to his circumstances.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Roth, J.)

Concurrence (Barry, J.)

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