AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA President Responds to Supreme Court Decision in Department of State v. Muñoz

6/21/24 AILA Doc. No. 24062134. Consular Processing

Washington, DC – Kelli Stump, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), responded to today’s Supreme Court of the United States’ (SCOTUS) ruling in Department of State v. Muñoz. SCOTUS held that U.S. citizens do not have a fundamental liberty interest in their noncitizen spouses’ ability to come to the United States. The Court rejected a spouse’s bid for judicial review of the State Department’s vague rejection of her Salvadoran husband’s visa.

“This is a disheartening decision that strips U.S. citizens of the ability to challenge an erroneous denial by a consular officer in a court of law. Although hopefully not the case, this decision could further embolden individual, non-attorney consular officers to act erratically as it strengthens the doctrine of nonreviewability. This lack of due process could unfairly deny many U.S. citizens the opportunity to live in this country with their spouses and will result in unnecessary family separations or subject the U.S. citizens to the arbitrariness of the immigration laws of other countries. As a nation of immigrants and a country where we value our right to be heard in a court of law, to say American citizens have no fundamental liberty interest in building a life with their spouse or their life partner in the United States is a staggering over-reach by the government. Life-altering decisions cannot be left solely in the hands of a bureaucrat and must be reviewable by a court of law.”