A federal appeals court has halted the deportation of a Harvard graduate and doctoral candidate to the Philippines.
Mark Farrales was 12-years-old when his family fled the Philippines for the U.S. in 1990, after his father was shot and wounded while he was running for public office. They overstayed their visas and were ordered to leave in 1998, but Farrales remained behind.
He graduated as valedictorian of his Los Angeles high school and magna cum laude from Harvard in 2001. He then obtained a master’s degree in political science from UC San Diego. He pursued a doctorate focused on examining corruption in the Philippines and was slated to get his Ph.D. in 2011.
But Farrales was detained in 2010 by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The Board of Immigration Appeals refused to reconsider his petition to stay, citing it as too late after his 1998 removal order.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a non-precedent order, late in December ordered the case reopened saying Farrales had shown changed conditions in the Philippines, including increased political violence.
The panel pointed out that by that time he was a critic of governmental corruption in the Philippines, thus his personal circumstances made violence against him more likely and something the BIA should have considered.
The panel included Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Wallace Tashima and Richard Paez.
Case: Farrales v. Lynch, No. 11-71312