Jobe, Robert B.
Robert B. Jobe is widely recognized as one of the nation's finest immigration litigators. He has litigated at all levels of the federal court system (including the United States Supreme Court), testified in the United States House of Representatives, authored numerous articles and a leading treatise on the law of asylum, and lectured widely on immigration-related issues. In recognition of his achievements, Mr. Jobe has been awarded the American Immigration Lawyers Association's Jack Wasserman Award for Excellence in Immigration Litigation (Houston, Texas 1998), the Immigrant Legal Resource Center's Phillip Burton Award for Outstanding Immigration Lawyering (San Francisco, California 1993), and the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom's Constitutional Rights Award For Outstanding Legal Service Against the Use of Secret Evidence (Washington, D.C. 2001). In addition, San Francisco magazine named Mr. Jobe as one of Northern California's Super Lawyers in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. In recognition of his work for LGBT immigrants, Mr. Jobe was named an honorary grand marshall of the 2003 San Francisco Gay Pride Parade.
Education: Mr. Jobe holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (April 1982) and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School (May 1987).
Immigration Litigation: Mr. Jobe has served as counsel in several of the most significant immigration cases of the last decade. His recent work includes: Coyt v. Martinez. 598 F.3d 902 (9th Cir. 2010)(invalidating a DHS regulation that prohibited reopening a removal proceeding following an alien's deportation); Kaur v. Holder, 561 F.3d 957 (9th Cir. 2009)(declaring unconstitutional the government use of secret evidence in an exclusion proceeding); Nevarez Nevarez v. Holder, 572 F.3d 605 (9th Cir. 2009)(finding that a recent Supreme Court decision limiting an alien's ability to reopen her removal proceedings cannot be applied retroactively); Brezilien v. Holder, 569 F.3d 403 (9th Cir. 2009)(reversing a removal order against a Haitian asylum applicant because the BIA illegally substituted its factual findings for those of the IJ); Al Mutarreb v. Holder, 561 F.3d 1023 (9th Cir. 2009)(reversing an in absentia removal order because DHS failed to present clear and convincing evidence that the alien was, in fact, removable); Ahmed v. Mukasey, 548 F.3d 1023 (9th Cir. 2009)(rejecting BIA's holding in Matter of Velarde-Pacheco, which had made an alien's ability to reopen removal proceedings in order to seek adjustment of status contingent upon DHS's non-opposition); Saini v. USCIS, 553 F. Supp. 2d (E.D. Cal. 2008)(upholding alien's right to sue DHS for unlawful delay in adjudicating an application for adjustment of status).
Asylum: Through his litigation efforts, Mr. Jobe has defined the contours of asylum law in the western United States on issues ranging from the definition of persecution and whether the threat of persecution must exist country-wide to whether an alien who has engaged in "terrorist activities" can be barred from asylum as a danger to national security. See Bhasin v. Gonzales, 423 F.3d 977 (9th Cir. 2005), Lolong v. Gonzales, 400 F.3d 1215 (9th Cir. 2005), Narayan v. Ashcroft, 384 F.3d 1065 (9th Cir. 2004); Cheema v. Ashcroft, 383 F.3d 848 (9th Cir. 2004); Li v. Ashcroft, 356 F.3d 1153 (9th Cir. 2004) (en banc); Kankamalage v. INS, 335 F.3d 858 (9th Cir. 2003); Sidhu v. INS, 220 F.3d 1085 (9th Cir. 2000); Borja v. INS, 175 F.3d 732 (9th Cir. 1999) (en banc); Harpinder Singh v. Ilchert, 63 F.3d 1501 (9th Cir. 1995); Hardev Singh v. Moschorak, 53 F.3d 1031 (9th Cir. 1995); Surinder Singh v. Ilchert, 69 F.3d 375 (9th Cir. 1995) ; Jagraj Singh v. Ilchert, 801 F. Supp. 313 (N.D.Cal. 1992); Matter of N-M-A-, Int. Dec. 3368 (BIA 1998).
Criminal Aliens: Mr. Jobe has litigated a wide variety of cases relating to criminal aliens, including Murillo-Salmeron v. INS, 327 F.3d 898 (9th Cir. 2003) (simple drunk driving is not a crime involving moral turpitude); Kankamalage v. INS, 335 F.3d 858 (9th Cir. 2003) (the particularly serious crimes bar to asylum does not apply to guilty pleas obtained before the bar's enactment); Park v. INS, 252 F.3d 1018 (9th Cir. 2001) (to be a crime of violence, an offense must have a mens rea of at least recklessness); Lujan-Armendariz v. INS, 222 F.3d 728 (9th Cir. 2000) (convictions for simple possession of a controlled substance which have been expunged pursuant to a state rehabilitative statute can not be a basis for deportation); Aguilera-Medina v. INS, 137 F.3d 1401 (9th Cir. 1998), (lawful temporary resident aliens who have been convicted of alien smuggling within five years of a "brief, casual, and innocent departure" are not deportable).
Suspension of Deportation: Mr. Jobe was at the forefront of efforts to blunt the impact of legislation (enacted in 1996) which restricts the availability of suspension of deportation (a defense to deportation which had been available to aliens who have lived in this country for more than seven years). In Barahona-Gomez v. Reno, 167 F.3d 1228 (9th Cir. 1999), aff'd 236 F.3d 1115 (9th Cir. 2001), Mr. Jobe challenged the government's refusal to adjudicate applications for suspension of deportation until the legislative restrictions took effect. Through that litigation, Mr. Jobe and his co-counsel obtained an injunction against the deportation of hundreds of class members.
In Guadalupe-Cruz v. INS, 250 F.3d 1271 (9th Cir. 2001), Castillo-Perez v. INS, 212 F.3d 518 (9th Cir. 2000), and Matter of N-J-B-, 21 I & N Dec. 812 (BIA 1997), Mr. Jobe challenged the government's application of the new "stop time" rule, which requires a suspension of deportation applicant to demonstrate that he or she had accumulated seven years physical presence in the United States before the commencement of deportation proceedings. In Guadalupe-Cruz, the court precluded INS from applying the stop time rule to applicants who had hearings before April 1997. In Castillo-Perez, the Court ruled that the stop time rule can not be applied to aliens who would have had a hearing on their application for suspension of deportation before April 1997 but for the ineffective assistance of a former attorney.
Visa Processing: In 1995, Mr. Jobe and his best friend from law school, Daniel Wolf, spearheaded a pro bono legal challenge to the Department of State's policy of refusing to issue immigrant visas to Vietnamese boat people detained in Hong Kong. See, Legal Assistance for Vietnamese Asylum Seekers v. Dep't.of State, 45 F.3d 469 (D.C. Cir. 1995)("LAVAS I"); Legal Assistance for Vietnamese Asylum Seekers v. Dep't. of State (LAVAS II), 74 F.3d 1308 (D.C. Cir. 1996); and Vo Van Chau v. Dep't. of State, 891 F. Supp. 650 (D.D.C. 1996). In LAVAS I, the D.C. Circuit declared the State Department's policy unlawful. The State Department appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case. Shortly before oral argument in the United States Supreme Court, Congress amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to specifically override the D.C. Circuit's decision in LAVAS I. The Supreme Court then vacated LAVAS I and remanded for reconsideration of the legislative changes. As a result of the litigation, however, over 100 Vietnamese nationals living in refugee camps in Hong Kong were able to immigrate to the United States.
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel: Maravilla-Maravilla v. Ashcroft, 381 F.3d 855 (9th Cir. 2004) (to establish prejudice, aliens alleging ineffective assistance of counsel must show only plausible grounds of relief); Matter of N-K- and V-S-, I & N Dec. 879 (BIA 1997), (an attorney's failure to notify an alien of the date, time, and place of her exclusion hearing constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel and requires reopening of an exclusion proceeding conducted in absentia).
Congressional Testimony: On May 8, 1996, Mr. Jobe testified before the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights about the need to enact legislation to implement the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
Other: Before going into private immigration practice, Mr. Jobe investigated violations of the laws of war in El Salvador on behalf of Americas Watch (now Human Rights Watch) and contributed to a lengthy report on human rights violations in El Salvador, The Civilian Toll (New York: Americas Watch 1987). He also served as the Supervising Attorney at La Raza Centro Legal (July 1988-January 1990), was an associate attorney at McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen (August 1987 - July 1988), and a legislative aide in the Michigan House of Representatives (1982-83).
Mr. Jobe has been admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeal for the Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and District of Columbia Circuits, and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Central, and Eastern Districts of California.
Mr. Jobe speaks Spanish and is a member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the National Lawyers Guild.
Areas of Practice
West Practice Categories
- California, 1988
- U.S. District Court Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court Central District of California
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit
Professional Associations and Memberships
- State Bar of California (Member)
- American Immigration Lawyers Association (Member)
- National Lawyers Guild (Member)
Honors and Awards
- American Immigration Lawyers Association's Jack Wasserman Award, Excellence in Immigration Litigation, Houston, Texas, 1998
- The Immigrant Legal Resource Center's Phillip Burton Award for Outstanding Immigration Lawyering, San Francisco, California, 1993
- The National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom's Constitutional Rights Award For Outstanding Legal Service Against the Use of Secret Evidence, Washington, D.C., 2001
Past Employment Positions
- Attorney at La Raza Centro Legal, 1988 - 1990
- McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, Associate Attorney, 1987 - 1988
- Michigan House of Representatives, 1982 - 1983
- The University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan,
- University of Michigan , Ann Arbor , Michigan,
Major: Political Science
- Winning Asylum Cases (San Francisco: Immigrant Legal Resource Center 2004), (Co-Author With Jobe, Silverman, and Katz), Leading Treatise on the Law of Asylum, 2004
- "Challenging Removal Through Habeas Corpus: An Outline of Critical Issues", Immigration Litigation: Winning in Federal Court (Washington, D.C.), 2003
- "Challenging Removal Through Habeas Corpus: An Outline of Critical Issues", American Immigration Lawyers' Association, 2003
- "Establishing Asylum Eligibility through Past Persecution" (Co-Author With Jobe and Radel), California Conference Handbook (Washington, D.C), 2000
- "Establishing Asylum Eligibility through Past Persecution" (Co-Author With Jobe and Radel), American Immigration Lawyers Association, 2000
- "Strategies for Reopening In Absentia Deportation Proceedings and Mitigating the Time and Numerical Limitations on Motions to Reopen" , California Conference Handbook (Washington, D.C.), 1998
- "Strategies for Reopening In Absentia Deportation Proceedings and Mitigating the Time and Numerical Limitations on Motions to Reopen" , American Immigration Lawyers Association, 1998
- "Suspension of Deportation and Cancellation of Removal under IIRIRA", Practice Under IIRIRA: One Year Later (Washington, D.C.), 1997
- "Suspension of Deportation and Cancellation of Removal under IIRIRA", American Immigration Lawyers Association, 1997
- Voluntary Departure under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996", Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook, Vol. II, 1998
- "Voluntary Departure under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996", American Immigration Lawyers Association, 1997
- "Motions to Reopen and Reconsider: Essentials and Recent Developments", California Conference Handbook (Washington, D.C.), 1996
- "Motions to Reopen and Reconsider: Essentials and Recent Developments", American Immigration Lawyers Association, 1996
- "Establishing the Threat of Persecution on a Country-Wide Basis", Immigration and Nationality Law, 1995
- "Establishing the Threat of Persecution on a Country-Wide Basis", Washington, D.C.: American Immigration Lawyers Association, 1994
- "The Detention Alternative", (Co-Author With Wolf and Jobe), The Washington Post, 1993
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