Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Stevic

Immigration And Naturalization Service V. Stevic

Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Stevic

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In Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Stevic, 467 U.S. 407 (1984), the U.S. Supreme Court decided that an alien seeking to avoid deportation proceedings by claiming that he would be persecuted if returned to his native land must show a "clear probability" that he will be persecuted there.


In 1976, Stevic (first name unknown), a citizen of Yugoslavia, entered the United States to visit his sister in Chicago. He overstayed his visa, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service began deportation proceedings against him. At the hearing, Stevic conceded that he was deportable and agreed to leave by February 1977. In January of that year, however, he married a United States citizen, who applied for a visa on Stevic's behalf. When Stevic's wife died in a car accident shortly after the wedding, however, the visa was automatically revoked, and the INS ordered Stevic deported.

Stevic then sought withholding of deportation, claiming that he would be persecuted in Yugoslavia for anti-Communist activities in which he had engaged after his wedding. He also said that his father-in-law had been imprisoned there, also for anti-Communist activities. He claimed he feared persecution should he return to Yugoslavia. The Board of Immigration Appeals ultimately denied his application without a hearing, explaining that Stevic had not presented any further evidence he would be persecuted in Yugoslavia. The BIA also rejected Stevic's second attempt in 1980 to forestall...
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