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

Articles Posted in Immigration Law
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The First Circuit dismissed Petitioner's petition for review of an immigration judge's (IJ) denial of his application for withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture and denied Petitioner's petition to review the Board of Immigration Appeals' (BIA) denial of his motion to reopen proceedings, holding that Petitioner was not entitled to relief.On January 16, 2020, the BIA dismissed Petitioner's appeal of the IJ's denial of his application for withholding of removal and protection under CAT. On June 10, 2020, the BIA denied Petitioner's motion to reopen. Petitioner petitioned for review of both decisions. The First Circuit held (1) Petitioner's petition for review was untimely as to the January 16 decision; and (2) the BIA did not err by denying Petitioner's motion to reopen his orders of removal. View "Sarmiento v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit granted a petition for review of a ruling by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) that affirmed the final order of removal entered against Petitioner pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1229-1229a and vacated the BIA's ruling,Petitioner conceded removability but sought relief from removal based on asylum and withholding of removal, as well as the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The immigration judge (IJ) denied the applications, and the BIA affirmed. The First Circuit vacated the BIA's ruling in part, holding (1) Petitioner was not entitled to relief on his assertion of bias; and (2) because the BIA upheld an adverse credibility determination that the IJ reached in part based on an inconsistency in Petitioner's story that simply was not an inconsistency, the BIA's ruling affirming the IJ's denial of that claim must be vacated. View "Pujols v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit granted in part a petition for review from Petitioner in which Petitioner challenged the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming the immigration judge's (IJ) denial of Petitioner's request for deferral of removal pursuant to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading treatment or Punishment (CAT), holding that the BIA's decision was not supported by substantial evidence.Petitioner, a noncitizen who was granted asylum in 2002, was served with a notice to appear from removal proceedings. The notice alleged that Petitioner was subject to removal from the United States pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) and 1182(a)(2)(C) based on his prior Massachusetts state law convictions. Ali submitted to the IJ an application for asylum, for withholding of removal, and protection under the CAT, asserting that he was be subject to torture in Somalia. The IJ sustained the charges and ordered Petitioner removed to Somalia. The BIA affirmed. The First Circuit vacated the BIA's order, holding that the BIA did not address Petitioner's contention that the IJ failed to consider relevant evidence concerning the torture that Petitioner would face from private militias and armed criminals, and the failure to consider that evidence was not harmless. View "Ali v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit granted a petition for review sought by Petitioner from the denial of Petitioner's application for cancellation of removal and request for voluntary departure, holding that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) failed to apply clear error review to the immigration judge's (IJ) finding that Petitioner's removal was extreme hardship to Petitioner's father.Petitioner conceded removability but applied for cancellation of removal and for voluntary departure. Petitioner met the statutory prerequisites for each. The IJ took evidence on the discretionary factors and found that Petitioner merited a favorable exercise of administrative discretion. The BIA reversed, concluding that Petitioner merited neither cancellation of removal or voluntary departure. The First Circuit remanded the case for further proceedings, holding that the BIA impermissibly changed the IJ's factual finding that Petitioner's removal was hardship to his father. View "Barros v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of a final order of removal issued by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), holding that the immigration judge (IJ) and BIA properly concluded that Petitioner's Massachusetts conviction for accessory after the fact rendered him removable as an aggravated felon.The U.S. Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings against Petitioner. An IJ held that Petitioner was removable under the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) for having committed an aggravated felony, as defined under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43). As relevant to this appeal, the IJ held that Petitioner's Massachusetts accessory-after-the-fact conviction was categorically an offense relating to obstruction of justice and so was a proper ground for removal as an aggravated felony. The BIA denied Petitioner's appeal. The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review, holding that the BIA did not err in determining that Petitioner's Massachusetts conviction rendered him ineligible for withholding of removal. View "Silva v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit granted in part one of Petitioner's petitions for review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) ordering Petitioner removed, holding that remand was required.The same day the denial of Petitioner's I-751 petition to remove the conditions of his residency was issued, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated removal proceedings against Petitioner. Petitioner subsequently divorced his former wife and married anew. Petitioner's new wife filed an application for adjustment of Petitioner's status on the basis of their marriage and an I-751 waiver petition. Petitioner was subsequently indicted for kidnapping and two counts of sexual assault. The IJ granted Petitioner's application for adjustment of status. The BIA sustained the DHS's appeal and ordered Petitioner removed without acknowledging that Petitioner had a pending I-751 waiver. The First Circuit held (1) the BIA abused its discretion in denying Petitioner's motion to reconsider based on two clear-error-standard violations; and (2) remand was required for consideration of the effect, if any, of the final denial of the I-751 waiver on Petitioner's motions. View "Adeyanju v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the ruling of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying Petitioner's application for asylum, withholding of removal, protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), and voluntary departure, holding that the BIA's determination was supported by substantial evidence.Petitioner, a native and citizen of Guatemala, was charged with removability. Petitioner conceded removability and applied for asylum, withholding of removal, protection under the CAT, and post-conclusion voluntary departure. The immigration judge (IJ) found that Petitioner's asylum claim failed on the merits and that Petitioner was not entitled to relief on his remaining arguments for relief. The BIA affirmed. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that substantial evidence supported the decisions of the IJ and the BIA. View "Lopez-Perez v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit dismissed Petitioner's petition for review of a final administrative removal order (FARO) issued against her in 2018 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), holding that this Court lacked jurisdiction over the petition.The DHS issued a FARO against Petitioner stating that she was removable under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) because she had been convicted of an aggravated felony as defined in 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43)(K). While Petitioner's petition for review of the FARO was still pending the DHS issued a notice to appear for separate removal proceedings pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1229a based on Petitioner's extended presence in the United States after her visa had expired. The DHS subsequently canceled the FARO. The First Circuit dismissed Petitioner's petition for review, holding that in the wake of the government's purported cancellation of Petitioner's FARO, the cancellation will result in there being no final removal order against Petitioner at the present time. View "Xu v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied in part Petitioner's petition for judicial review and remanded this immigration case to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) for further consideration, holding that remand was required for consideration of an argument Petitioner raised before the BIA but the BIA did not address.The BIA in this case affirmed an immigration judge's (IJ) decision denying Petitioner asylum relief, withholding of removal under Immigration and Nationality Act, protection pursuant to the Convention Against Torture Act, and ordering her removed. Petitioner filed a petition for review. The First Circuit remanded the case, holding (1) because the BIA did not address Petitioner's argument that the record evidence supported Petitioner's membership in a particular social group, that of Salvadoran female small business owners, remand was required for such consideration; and (2) this Court lacked jurisdiction to hear Petitioner's second claim. View "Gomez-Abrego v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied a petition for review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) that affirmed the denial of Appellant's application for adjustment of status on statutory and federal constitutional grounds, holding that there was no error.Appellant conceded removability but sought to remain in the country by applying for adjustment of status under 8 U.S.C. 1255(a). An immigration judge denied Appellant's application for adjustment of status, concluding that Appellant had not met his burden of showing that he merited a favorable exercise of discretion. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed. The First Circuit denied Appellant's petition for review, holding that Appellant's claims on appeal were without merit. View "Thomas v. Garland" on Justia Law