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

Articles Posted in Immigration Law
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The First Circuit vacated and remanded the ruling of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying Petitioner's claims for asylum and withholding of removal, holding that substantial evidence did not support the BIA's finding that Petitioner lacked a reasonable basis for his fear of being harmed on account of his membership in a particular social group.Petitioner, an Iraqi citizen, sought relief from removal on the grounds of asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT). Petitioner asserted that he feared he would be subjected to harm in Iraq at the hands of members of Iraq's military or civilian insurgents in Iraq on account of his work as a paid contractor for the United States Army during the war in Iraq. The BIA denied all claims. The First Circuit vacated the BIA's decision in part, holding (1) the record evidence failed to support the BIA's affirmance of the immigration judge's finding that Petitioner did not sufficiently show that he had an objectively reasonable basis for fearing that he would face harm in Iraq; and (2) the BIA properly denied Petitioner's claim for relief under the CAT. View "Al Amiri v. Rosen" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court granting Petitioner's habeas corpus petition after the Dominican Republic requested Petitioner for extradition, holding that the United States failed to file the necessary documents to support an extradition request.Upon receipt and review of the Dominican Republic's request to extradite Petitioner, the United States filed an extradition compliant. A federal magistrate judge certified Petitioner as eligible for extradition. Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, arguing that the Dominican Republic failed to provide the required documentation in its extradition request and that his extradition would violate the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT) because the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) had previously found that he qualified for CAT relief. The district court granted relief, finding both that the extradition was barred by the BIA's CAT determination and that the extradition request did not satisfy the documentary requirements of the Dominican Republic-United States Extradition Treaty. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the district court erroneously determined that the United States was bound by the BIA's prior determination awarding Petitioner CAT relief; but (2) the district court properly found that the documentation was insufficient to support an extradition request under the treaty. View "Aguasvivas v. Pompeo" 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) dismissing Petitioner's appeal from the decision of an immigration judge (IJ) denying Petitioner's request for withholding of removal under section 241(b)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1231(b)(3), holding that Petitioner was not entitled to relief.Petitioner, a native and citizen of Honduras, sought withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture and withholding of removal. The IJ denied the petition for withholding of removal, concluding that Petitioner failed to sustain his burden of showing that he was targeted on account of family membership, a protected ground. The BIA affirmed. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that there was substantial evidence to support the BIA's decision because Petitioner failed to establish the required nexus between his treatment by the police and his membership in a particular social group - his immediate family. View "Ruiz Varela v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's challenge to an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying her applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that Petitioner was not entitled to relief on her claims.Specifically, the First Circuit held (1) the evidence in the record did not compel a finding that Petitioner was or will be persecuted because she was a Guatemalan woman, and therefore, Petitioner failed to establish that she was eligible for asylum; and (2) because Petitioner failed to establish her eligibility for asylum, her claims for withholding of removal and protection under the ACT necessarily failed to meet the more stringent standards. View "Pojoy-De Leon v. Barr" 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) denying his applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that Petitioner was not entitled to relief.After the Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings against him Petitioner conceded removability but cross-applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under CAT. The immigration judge denied the petition, determining, as relevant to this appeal, that Petitioner suffered no persecution and that any alleged persecution was not caused by his membership in a particular social group. The BIA affirmed. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Petitioner's claim failed because he did not prove a nexus between the alleged persecution and a statutorily protected ground. View "Marquez-Paz v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit dismissed Appellant's appeal of the order of the district court dismissing Appellant's complaint seeking an order compelling the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to rescind and reissue an order of removal it affirmed in 2013 and later refused to reopen, holding that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction.In 2013, the BIA affirmed an order authorizing the removal of Appellant to his country of origin. Appellant filed a motion to reopen his removal proceedings, which the BIA denied. Appellant then commenced this action in the United States District Court against officials of the Department of Justice claiming a right of action under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and any statutes providing for habeas corpus. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. The First Circuit dismissed Appellant's appeal, holding that Appellant's APA claim and habeas claim both arose from his removal proceedings and that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over those claims. View "Gicharu v. Carr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition seeking review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissing Petitioner's appeal of an Immigration Judge's (IJ) decision finding that Petitioner had abandoned his status as a lawful permanent resident (LPR) in the United States ordering removal, holding that the IJ's and the BIA's decisions were supported by the record evidence.Petitioner, a Lebanese citizen, was admitted to the United States as an LPR in 1991. Petitioner later moved to Canada. In 2014, the IJ found that Petitioner was not admissible into the United States because he had abandoned his LPR status. The BIA affirmed. The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review, holding that the lower agencies' decisions were supported by the evidence. View "Mahmoud v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition to review a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying his requests for asylum and withholding of removal under the Immigration and Naturalization Act and for protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that substantial evidence supported the BIA's decision.Specifically, the First Circuit held (1) Petitioner failed to establish that he had been persecuted or had a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; and (2) the record did not compel a conclusion that state actors would be complicit in torturing him in the future. View "Celicourt v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of a final order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying his applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that Petitioner's claims were unavailing.After Petitioner was placed in removal proceedings he sought asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the CAT. The immigration judge (IJ) denied relief. The BIA affirmed and, pursuant to the IJ's order, granted Petitioner voluntary departure. The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review, holding (1) Petitioner did not establish that he was eligible for asylum; (2) the resolution of Petitioner's asylum claim also disposed of his withholding of removal claim; and (3) Petitioner's claim related to the denial of his request for CAT protection was waived. View "Zhakira v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of determinations by the immigration judge (IJ) and Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying Petitioner's request for withholding of removal and voluntary departure, holding that there was no abuse of discretion or error of law.Petitioner was arrested in Connecticut on criminal charges. When served with a notice to appear in immigration court, Petitioner requested withholding of removal and voluntary departure. The IJ ruled against Petitioner, and Petitioner appealed. Before the IJ made its ruling Petitioner's wife filed an I-130 petition on his behalf. While Petitioner's appeal to the BIA was pending, Petitioner's charges in Connecticut were dropped and his I-130 petition was approved. Based on these developments, Petitioner moved to remand his case to the IJ. The BIA denied Petitioner's appeal and his motion to remand. The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review, holding (1) Petitioner's withholding of removal claim failed; (2) the IJ did not err in denying Petitioner's application for voluntary departure; (3) the IJ did not err in denying Petitioner's motion for a continuance; and (4) the BIA did not abuse its discretion in denying Petitioner's motion to remand. View "Lee v. Barr" on Justia Law