Justia U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Immigration Law
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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of an immigration judge's (IJ) denial of his application for withholding of removal, holding that the Petitioner's arguments were unavailing.Petitioner, a native and citizen of El Salvador, was subject to removal. Petitioner expressed fear of persecution or torture with the asylum officer. The asylum officer rejected Petitioner's reasonable fear claim, concluding that there was insufficient evidence to find that Petitioner had been attacked because of a protected ground. The IJ upheld the asylum officer's decision. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the IJ did not err by dismissing Petitioner's gang-related claim. View "Reyes-Ramos v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied a petition for review sought by Petitioners, four individuals who left El Salvador for fear of harm at the hands of a gang, holding that the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) was supported by substantial evidence in the record.After Petitioners were charged as removable they conceded removability but cross-applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the United Nations Convention Against Torture. An immigration judge (IJ) rejected Petitioners' claims for relief, concluding that Petitioners failed to show that their claimed persecution bore a nexus to a protected ground. The BIA affirmed. The First Circuit denied Petitioners' petition for review, holding that the agency's determination that family membership was not a central reason for Petitioners' persecution was supported by substantial evidence in the record. View "Jimenez-Portillo v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) that denied Petitioner's motion to reopen and terminate his removal proceedings but granted the petition and vacated the BIA's ruling as to Petitioner's motion to reopen and rescind an in absentia removal order against him, holding that Petitioner received the requisite notice.In his motion to reopen to terminate his removal proceedings Petitioner argued that the immigration court lacked jurisdiction over his removal proceedings and in his motion in the alternative to reopen and rescind his removal order in absentia he argued that he did not receive proper notice in accordance with 8 U.S.C. 1229(a). The First Circuit rejected Petitioner's first argument but agreed with his second, holding that the BIA did not permissibly construe the term "notice" in concluding that Petitioner received the requisite notice to be ordered removed in absentia for failing to appear at his removal proceedings. View "Laparra-Deleon v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit granted in part Petitioner's petition for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming the denial of Petitioner's application for withholding of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and for protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that the BIA erred in rejecting Petitioner's social group claim.An immigration judge denied Petitioner's application for withholding of removal and ordered him removed. The BIA dismissed Petitioner's appeal, finding that Petitioner had not established eligibility for withholding of removal. The First Circuit granted in part Petitioner's petition for review and vacated in part the decision of the BIA, holding (1) the BIA's decision rejecting Petitioner's social group claim was in error, and remand was required for the BIA to consider whether Petitioner's proposed social group satisfied the requirements for constituting a particular social group under the INA to which Petitioner belonged; and (2) Petitioner was not entitled to relief on his remaining claims of error. View "Chavez v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit granted Petitioner's petition for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming the denial of Petitioner's application for deferral of removal to Honduras under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that the BIA erred in its review of the decision of the immigration judge (IJ).The IJ denied deferral of removal to Honduras, concluding that Petitioner was not likely to be tortured by, or with the consent or acquiescence of, the Honduran government. The BIA found no error in the IJ's determination. The First Circuit reversed, holding the the BIA erred when it (1) applied the incorrect standard of review to uphold the IJ's denial of CAT relief as to Honduras; (2) improperly failed to address Petitioner's argument that he would likely be tortured by or at the instigation of Honduran officials; and (3) failed meaningfully to address Petitioner's argument that MS-13 members may act under color of law. View "H.H. v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of a final removal order upheld by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), holding that the BIA did not commit legal error or abuse its discretion in failing adequately to address new evidence.Petitioner, a native and citizen of Cape Verde, sought adjustment of status under 8 U.S.C. 1255(a) through his U.S.-citizen son. The immigration judge (IJ) denied Petitioner's application for adjustment of status, and the BIA affirmed. The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review, holding (1) the arguments and challenges Petitioner put forth as to the denial of his application for adjustment of status were neither constitutionally cognizable nor legally colorable; and (2) there was no basis to overturn the BIA's decision to deny the motion to remand the case. View "Moreno v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissing his appeal of an order of the immigration judge (IJ) denying Petitioner nunc pro tunc relief from removal, holding that there was no error in the agency's decision.Petitioner was charged with removability. Petitioner denied the charges, arguing that the Department of Homeland Appeals should be equitably estopped from removing him, and sought cancellation of removal, nunc pro tunc relief under former section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and voluntary departure. The IJ determined that Petitioner was ineligible for relief from removal. The BIA dismissed the appeal. The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review, holding (1) Petitioner was not eligible for nunc pro tunc relief under former section 212(c); and (2) Defendant was not entitled to equitable estoppel. View "Reyes-Batista v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit dismissed Petitioner's petition for review of the denial by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) of his application for withholding of removal under 8 U.S.C. 1231(b)(3), holding that the petition is dismissed due to Petitioner's failure to exhaust an issue upon which which his argument on appeal depended.After he was placed in removal proceedings Petitioner sought asylum and withholding of removal or, in the alternative, voluntary departure. The immigration judge (IJ) denied all claims, and the BIA affirmed without opinion. Petitioner appealed, challenging only the BIA's denial of his application for withholding of removal. The First Circuit dismissed the petition for review, holding that because Petitioner did not challenge the aspect of the IJ's ruling to the BIA that he now appealed, he could not bring that challenge to the First Circuit in the first instance because the issue was not exhausted. View "Cante-Lopez v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied the petition for review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying Petitioner's application for cancellation of removal, holding that substantial evidence supported the BIA's determination that Petitioner had not shown prejudice, and the BIA committed no error of law in that ruling.Petitioner, a native of Haiti, was charged as removable under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(C) based on a firearm conviction. Petitioner filed applications for asylum, withholding of removal, protection under the Convention Against Torture, and cancellation of removal. The immigration judge (IJ) denied relief, and the BIA upheld the IJ's determination. The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review, holding that Petitioner was deserving of cancellation of removal. View "Dorce v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of the ruling of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) vacating the immigration judge's (IJ) decision granting Petitioner's application for cancellation of removal and ordering Petitioner removed, holding that the BIA did not commit reversible legal error.Petitioner, a native and citizen of Guatemala, conceded that he was removable from the United States but sought cancellation of removal predicated on the impact his removal would have on his young children. The IJ granted the application, concluding that Petitioner established the requisite extreme hardship. The BIA reversed, holding that the IJ incorrectly concluded that the hardships presented were sufficient to satisfy the applicable standard. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Petitioner failed to show that the BIA misconstrued or overlooked relevant evidence and that there was no evidence that the BIA applied an improper standard. View "Domingo-Mendez v. Garland" on Justia Law