WilmerHale Files Amicus Brief in Department of State v. Muñoz Spousal Immigration Case

WilmerHale Files Amicus Brief in Department of State v. Muñoz Spousal Immigration Case

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In Department of State v. Muñoz, WilmerHale filed an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court in support of Sandra Muñoz and on behalf of 35 members of Congress. The brief asserts that the government unconstitutionally denied a man's spousal visa application by withholding a detailed explanation.

Sandra Muñoz is a US citizen whose Salvadoran-citizen husband, Luis Asencio-Cordero, was denied a spousal visa at a US consulate with no explanation apart from a cite to a broad legal provision that gave no information as to the actual basis for the decision. The consulate refused to provide the basis for the denial to Mr. Asencio-Cordero and Representative Judy Chu, who was called on to help, as Muñoz’s congressional representative, in the pursuit of more information.

The couple has lived in different countries for the last eight years while they have litigated this case. They allege a violation of their right to marital cohabitation and that the simple statute citation violated Due Process principles by providing insufficient information to meaningfully appeal the denial. 

The brief, co-written by Leon Greenfield, Erin Marie Meyer, Julie Welly, Justin Metz and Courtney Bibbs, argues that the federal agencies’ refusal to share information with constituent services offices obstructs a core congressional function and ruling against Muñoz would allow agencies to refuse to hand over information to lawmakers.

"Constituent service cannot effectively support Congress’ legislative and oversight functions when executive agencies fail to comply with their obligations to provide information to which Congress is entitled. These obligations are well understood but often ignored, hampering constituent service, frustrating efforts to address systemic problems — and, in the case of Ms. Muñoz, leading to significant individual hardship.”

The brief also argues that the Department of State’s asserted defense of consular nonreviewability—which immunizes consulates from judicial review of visa denials—does not apply in this context. 

WilmerHale filed one of many briefs submitted to the US Supreme Court by dozens of individuals and organizations that support US citizens’ rights to know the reasoning for their spouses’ visa denials so that they can challenge those decisions.

Read the full Amicus Brief



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