The case of Demiraj v. Holder involves a family of Albanians who fear persecution by a human trafficker, Bill Bedini. Edmond Demiraj was slated to testify against the trafficker, who escaped and fled. Mr. Demiraj was eventually deported to Albania, where he was kidnapped, beaten, and shot by Bedini. He then returned to the U.S. where he was ultimately granted Withholding of Removal. Withholding - while it involves a legal analysis similar to asylum - offers fewer benefits than asylum status, and specifically, does not automatically grant derivative status to his wife or child. Thus, Mrs. Demiraj and her son had to file a separate asylum claim, and a different immigration judge found that they could not show that they would be persecuted because of their status as Demiraj family members. The Board of Immigration Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed that decision. Ms. Demiraj and her son filed for certiorari in the Supreme Court.
On July 25, 2011, NIJC filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to remand the case to the Board for a better-reasoned, logical decision. The NIJC amicus brief focuses on the inconsistent handling of the Demiraj family cases, and ambiguities in those decisions. NIJC argues that the Supreme Court ought not decide the legal questions presented in the case, but should instead send the case back to the agency level to permit the Board to issue a decision which at least takes into account the decision which granted protection to Mr. Demiraj.
Petition for a writ of certiorari was filed on June 20, 2011. The government's response was extended to May 23, 2012. The petition was dismissed pursuant to Rule 46 on May 23, 2012. A link to the Supreme Court's docket can be found here.