Articles Posted in Immigration Law

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The First Circuit upheld the finding of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) that Petitioner was eligible for removal because third-degree larceny under Connecticut law is an aggravated felony. Removal proceedings were commenced against Petitioner on the basis that his conviction was for a “theft offense” within the meaning of 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43) (G) and was therefore an “aggravated felony” that rendered him eligible for removal. The BIA dismissed Petitioner’s appeal. The First Circuit upheld the BIA’s decision, holding that Petitioner’s Connecticut conviction is a conviction for a “theft offense” because the range of conduct sufficient to sustain a conviction for third-degree larceny under Connecticut law is not broader than that which constitutes a “theft offense” under the Immigration and Nationality Act. View "De Lima v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Attorney General has the discretion to cancel the removal of a non-permanent resident alien if the alien, among other things, has ten years of continuous physical presence in the United States. At issue here was whether, for purposes of the “stop-time” rule, an alien’s period of continuous physical presence ends when the alien is served a notice to appear that does not contain the date and time of the alien’s initial hearing. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) answered this question in the affirmative in Matter of Camarillo, 25 I. & N. Dec. 644 (B.I.A. 2011). In the instant case, Petitioner conceded removability but sought relief in the form of cancellation of removal under 8 U.S.C. 1229b(b)(1), arguing that the notice to appear had not stopped the continuous residency clock because it was defective where it did not include the date and time of his hearing. An Immigration Judge ordered Petitioner removed. The BIA affirmed, concluding that the notice to appear was effective under the stop-time rule. The First Circuit denied Petitioner’s petition for review, holding that the BIA’s decision in Camarillo was entitled to Chevron deference. Therefore, Petitioner was unable to demonstrate the requisite ten years of physical presence and was thus ineligible for cancellation of removal. View "Pereira v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner’s petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) denial of his untimely motion to reopen removal proceedings based on changed conditions. Petitioner, a Mexican national, conceded a charge of removability under 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(A)(i) but denied the charges. Petitioner later applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. An immigration judge denied the petition. The BIA denied Petitioner’s appeal. More than three years later, Petitioner moved to reopen removal proceedings, arguing that his petition to reopen should be granted because the conditions in his home country had deteriorated and intensified. The BIA denied Petitioner’s motion to reopen. The First Circuit concluded that the BIA properly exercised its discretion and found that Petitioner failed to demonstrate changed conditions. View "Sanchez-Romero v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit vacated the decision of Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) determining that the Massachusetts crime of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (ABDW) is categorically a crime involving mural turpitude under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The effect of the BIA’s opinion was to render Petitioner ineligible for cancellation of removal. Petitioner had pleaded guilty to one count of Massachusetts ABDW, after which the Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings against him. Petitioner applied for cancellation of removal. The immigration judge (IJ) denied relief, concluding that Massachusetts ABDW is categorically a CIMT because of the presence of an aggravating element - the use of a dangerous weapon. The BIA agreed with the IJ. The First Circuit remanded the case for further consideration, as there were too many questions about the BIA’s thinking on the mental state required for a Massachusetts reckless ABDW conviction for the court to review the BIA’s CIMT determination. View "Coelho v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner’s petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) decision affirming the Immigration Judge’s (IJ) denial of her application for withholding of removal. Petitioner, a native and citizen of Guatemala, was charged with removability. Petitioner conceded removability but then applied for withholding of removal and for protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The IJ denied relief, and the BIA affirmed, concluding that Petitioner did not establish that she would likely be harmed by criminal gangs in Guatemala based upon an enumerated ground. Petitioner contested only the BIA’s ruling affirming the denial of her request for withholding of removal. The First Circuit held that there was substantial evidence to support the BIA’s findings. View "Marroquin-Rivera v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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Petitioner, a Nigerian citizen by birth, pleaded guilty to making a material false statement in a matter within the jurisdiction of the United States government. Because of his conviction, Petitioner was permanently barred from obtaining lawful permanent resident status and was subject to deportation at any moment. Nearly a decade after his probationary sentence ended, Petitioner sought a writ of error coram nobis that vacates or allows him to revise the factual basis of his conviction. As grounds for the writ, Petitioner alleged that the performance of his attorney was constitutionally deficient under Sixth Amendment standards, and therefore, his conviction arose from fundamental error. The district court denied a writ of error coram nobis. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Petitioner’s counsel was not constitutionally ineffective in any way. View "Williams v. United States" on Justia Law

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In this immigration case, the First Circuit vacated the order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) upholding the decision of the Immigration Judge (IJ) denying Petitioner’s applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). In his petition for review, Petitioner, a native of Guatemala, argued that he presented sufficient evidence to establish both past persecution and a well-founded fear of future persecution and that he could not reasonably relocate within Guatemala. The First Circuit granted the petition for review and remanded for further proceedings, holding (1) there was significant evidence in the record supporting a conclusion that relocation would be unreasonable; and (2) given the limited analysis on this issue by the IJ and the BIA, remand was proper for the BIA to consider it fully. View "Garcia-Cruz v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a citizen of Guatemala, petitioned for review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying his requests for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The BIA affirmed the decision of the Immigration Judge (IJ), concluding (1) the level of mistreatment Petitioner suffered did not rise to the level that could qualify as persecution to be entitled to a grant of asylum, and (2) Petitioner could not meet the requirements for withholding of removal and for protection under the CAT. The First Circuit denied Petitioner’s petition for review, holding (1) Petitioner failed to provide the court with a basis for reversing the BIA’s ruling denying his application for asylum; and (2) Petitioner failed to offer any basis on which to conclude that he could satisfy the requirements for withholding for removal or for protection under the CAT. View "Morales-Morales v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that aliens who are subject to reinstated orders of removal may not apply for asylum, even though they may be entitled to withholding of removal. In reaching this conclusion, the First Circuit ruled that certain provisions of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 did not entitle Petitioner, a citizen of Guatemala who was subject to a reinstated order of removal, to seek asylum. The First Circuit affirmed the decisions of the immigration judge (IJ) and Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) that determined that Petitioner could not apply for asylum even where the IJ determined that he was entitled to withholding of removal based on the persecution he would face in Guatemala. View "Garcia-Garcia v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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In 2007, removal proceedings were initiated against Petitioner. An immigration judge (IJ), however, deemed Petitioner to be a U.S. citizen. In 2016, Petitioner was convicted of a drug felony, and a second IJ ordered Petitioner removed. The IJ denied Petitioner’s motion to terminate removal proceedings on the basis of the prior IJ’s determination that Petitioner was a U.S. citizen. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissed Petitioner’s appeal, agreeing that res judicata was inapplicable in the context of an administrative proceeding where doing so would “frustrate[] Congressional intent.” The First Circuit dismissed Petitioner’s petition for review, holding (1) the applicability of res judicata becomes immaterial before this Court because of the jurisdictional limitation imposed by the Immigration and Nationality Act; (2) Petitioner failed to meet his burden of proving that he is a United States citizen; and (3) accordingly, the jurisdictional bar in 8 U.S.C. 1252(a)(2) (C) applies and precludes judicial review of the final order of removal against Petitioner. View "Miranda v. Sessions" on Justia Law