Dora Beltran filed a habeas as the next friend of her minor son, RMB.  RMB was granted VAWA deferred action based on his mother's abusive marriage.  RMB had a trouble adolescence, including criminal activity and gang affiliations.  When he was 14 years old, he ran away from home, and began working as a smuggler, assisting with the illegal entry of immigrants.  He was detained by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and despite his mother informing CBP that he had been granted deferred action, CBP classified RMB as an unaccompanied minor and placed him in a juvenile detention facility.  When his mother requested that he be released into her custody, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) refused, finding her incapable of properly supervising and caring for RMB.

The Fourth Circuit found that RMB was properly classified as an unaccompanied minor because even though his mother was in the United States, she was not "available to provide care and physical custody.”  In addition, the court found it permissible for ORR to continue detaining RMB after an immigration judge terminated his removal proceedings because ORR could not locate a suitable guardian for him.  The court determined that RMB's continued detention did not unconstitutionally interfere with his mother's right to control his upbringing, but expressed concern that RMB may not have been given a meaningful opportunity to challenge his continued detention, and thus, his procedural due process rights may have been impinged upon.  Thus, the court remanded the case to the District Court to determine, in the first instance, if RMB was entitled to additional process.

The full text of D.B. v. Cardall can be found here: