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

Articles Posted in Immigration Law
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The First Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court granting Appellee's petition for a writ of habeas corpus and ordering the immigration judge (IJ) to conduct a new bond hearing, holding that the district court did not err in concluding that Appellee was entitled to a new hearing.Appellee was detained under 8 U.S.C. 1226(a) and was denied bond at a hearing before an IJ, who placed the burden on Appellee to prove he was neither a danger to the community nor a flight risk. Appellee subsequently petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that his constitutional due process right required the government - not him - to bear the burden of proof at his bond hearing. The district court agreed and ordered the IJ to conduct a new bond hearing at which the government would bear the burden of proof. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Appellee was entitled to a new hearing before an IJ at which the government will bear the burden of proving either dangerousness or a flight risk in order to continue detaining Appellee. View "Doe v. Tompkins" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the order of the district court granting Petitioner's petition for a writ of habeas corpus and ordering the immigration judge (IJ) to conduct a second bond hearing, holding that remand was required.Petitioner, who entered the United States without being admitted or paroled, was arrested and detained pending a determination of her removability. Petitioner was subsequently denied bond at a hearing in which the IJ placed the burden on Petitioner to prove that she was neither a danger to the community nor a flight risk. The district court ordered the IJ to conduct a second bond hearing at which the government bore the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that Petitioner was either a danger or a flight risk. After a second hearing, the IJ released Petitioner on bond. The First Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the government need not prove a detainee's flight risk by clear and convincing evidence; and (2) the judgment is otherwise affirmed. View "Hernandez-Lara v. Lyons" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied one of Petitioner's petitions for review of two decisions by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) but granted the other petition, holding that the government failed to prove that the BIA, in overturning an immigration judge's (IJ) ruling granting Petitioner adjustment of status, considered hardship as it was required to do.The two decisions at issue were: (1) the BIA's 2011 ruling affirming the denial of Petitioner's application for asylum, withholding or removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT); and (2) the BIA's 2017 ruling reversing the grant of Petitioner's application for adjustment of status. The First Circuit denied Petitioner's 2011 petition and granted his 2017 petition, holding (1) there was no merit to any of Petitioner's challenges to the BIA's affirmance of the IJ's denial of his asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT claims; and (2) the BIA erred in denying Petitioner's application for adjustment of status because it ignored altogether a particularly salient aspect of the hardship showing that Petitioner was trying to make. View "Perez-Trujillo v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied in part and dismissed Petitioner's petition for judicial review challenging the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) reversing an immigration judge's (IJ) grant of Petitioner's application for cancellation of removal, holding that the Court lacked jurisdiction.In reversing the IJ's decision, the BIA concluded that Petitioner had not met the required "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" standard. On appeal, Petitioner argued that the BIA applied the wrong legal standard and ignored its own precedent when it overturned the IJ's grant of his application for cancellation of removal. The denied in part and dismissed this appeal for lack of jurisdiction, holding (1) the BIA did not commit legal error in concluding that Petitioner had not met his burden to show that his removal would result in "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" to his family; (2) as to Petitioner's argument that the BIA's decision was legally unsound, his claim failed on the merits; and (3) this Court lacked jurisdiction over Petitioner's remaining arguments. View "Tacuri-Tacuri v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied the petition filed by Petitioner, a Salvadoran national, seeking judicial review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) upholding an adverse decision by an immigration judge (IJ) denying Petitioner's application for withholding of removal, holding that Petitioner was not entitled to relief.Specifically, the First Circuit held (1) substantial evidence in the record supported the agency's determination that Petitioner failed to show an entitlement to withholding of removal based on a clear probability of either past or future religious persecution; (2) Petitioner waived his argument that the BIA erred in rejecting his "social group" claim; and (3) the BIA did not abuse its discretion by not remanding the case to the IJ for further proceedings. View "Sanchez-Vasquez v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying Petitioner's motion to reopen the BIA's decision denying Petitioner's application for cancellation of his removal, holding that any error was harmless.After Petitioner, a citizen of Guatemala, was issued a notice to appear Petitioner applied for cancellation of his removal under 8 U.S.C. 1229b(b)(1). The immigration judge denied the application, and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed. Petitioner later filed a motion to reopen the BIA decision, arguing that his prior counsel provided ineffective assistance. The BIA denied the motion. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that equitable tolling did not apply to toll the statutory deadline for filing the motion. View "Quiroa-Motta v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for relief from removal on the grounds of asylum, withholding of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act, and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) did not err in affirming the immigration judge's (IJ) decision to deny Petitioner's application.Specifically, the First Circuit held (1) the record did not indicate that Petitioner either faced or would face persecution on the basis of his nationality, his religion, or his political beliefs; and (2) therefore, Petitioner was not able to meet the higher threshold for his claim of withholding of removal and his CAT claim. View "Thile v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit vacated the judgment of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming the denial of Petitioner's application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that substantial evidence did not support the BIA's decision.The immigration judge (IJ) determined that Petitioner was not a credible witness and therefore found that he had failed to establish his burden of proof with respect to his application. The BIA dismissed Petitioner's appeal, thus declining to remand the case in light of new evidence submitted for the first time on appeal. The First Circuit vacated the BIA's decision, holding that the IJ's adverse credibility finding was not supportable. View "Cuesta-Rojas v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit reversed the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying Petitioner's request to reopen removal proceedings based on changed country circumstances, holding that the BIA's failure to assess whether certain changes were sufficient was arbitrary and capricious.Petitioner, a native and citizen of Albania, applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture, arguing that he and his family had been persecuted due to Petitioner's support of the Democratic Party in Albania and that the family had a well-founded fear of future persecution. An immigration judge denied relief, and the BIA affirmed. Petitioner later asked the BIA to reopen his case on the ground that government corruption had deteriorated in Albania. The BIA denied the request. The First Circuit reversed, holding that the BIA "exercised its judgment in an arbitrary, capricious, or irrational manner." View "Lucaj v. Wilkinson" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit vacated the order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming the order of the immigration judge (IJ) denying Petitioner's application for withholding of removal, holding that the IJ and BIA made legal errors.Petitioner, a native and citizen of Honduras, twice entered the United States without authorization. After the government ordered Petitioner removed to Honduras, Petitioner filed an application for withholding of removal. The IJ denied the motion. The BIA affirmed and denied Petitioner's motion to reopen and remand. The First Circuit vacated the removal order and remanded the case to the BIA for further proceedings, holding (1) the BIA erred in dismissing Petitioner's appeal based on her failure to corroborate; and (2) the BIA erred in finding that Petitioner did not adequately apply for relief under the Convention Against Torture. View "Molina-Diaz v. Rosen" on Justia Law