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

Articles Posted in Immigration 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

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The First Circuit granted in part and denied in part Appellant's petition for review of the judgment of the board of immigration appeals (BIA) finding that Appellant was ineligible for asylum and denying her application for withholding of removal, holding that Appellant's application for withholding of removal should be remanded.Appellant, a native of Guatemala, applied for relief that included asylum and withholding of removal. The immigration judge (IJ) and the BIA denied relief. On appeal, the government conceded that Appellant's application for withholding of removal should be remanded due to the failure of the IJ and BIA to consider relevant aspects of Appellant's claims of past persecution. The First Circuit (1) vacated the denial of Appellant's application for withholding from removal, holding that the IJ and BIA erred by failing to consider certain evidence and by failing to provide her with an opportunity to explain why she could not provide certain corroborating evidence in connection with her request for withholding; and (2) held that it lacked jurisdiction to review the denial of Appellant's request for asylum. View "Ixcuna-Garcia v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit vacated the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals affirming Petitioner's order of removal and denying his requests for cancellation of removal and voluntary departure, holding that a conviction under R.I. Gen. Laws (RIGL) 31-9-1 is not categorically a theft offense.In 2016, Petitioner, a citizen of Cape Verde who came to the United States as a lawful permanent resident in 1989, was convicted in a Rhode Island superior court of driving a motor vehicle without consent of the owner or lessee, in violation of RIGL 31-9-1. Thereafter, the Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings against Petitioner. Petitioner argued that he was eligible for cancellation of removal and voluntary departure because a conviction under RIGL 31-9-1 did not constitute an aggravated felony theft offense. An immigration judge (IJ) determined that Petitioner's Rhode Island conviction was categorically a theft offense, thus denying relief. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed. The First Circuit vacated the BIA's opinion, holding that Petitioner's conviction under RIGL 31-9-1 did not constitute a categorical aggravated felony theft offense. View "Da Graca v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit granted in part Petitioner's petition appealing the board of Immigration Appeals' (BIA) denial of Petitioner's application for withholding of removal under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 241(b)(3) and relief under article 3 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that remand was required.In denying Petitioner's application, the immigration judge found that Defendant's testimony was entitled to limited weight and that Petitioner's failure to provide corroborating evidence was fatal to his claim for relief. The BIA summarily affirmed. The First Circuit vacated the denials of withholding of relief under the CAT and remanded the case for further consideration, holding that in light of certain irregularities in the record, this Court could not uphold the IJ's determination that the record was supported by sufficient indicia of reliability to be used in assessing Petitioner's credibility. View "Bonilla v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied in part and dismissed in part Petitioner's petition for review of a final order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming the decision of an immigration judge (IJ) finding Petitioner removable and ordering him removed from the United States, holding that this Court lacked jurisdiction in part.At issue was the denial of Petitioner's application for adjustment of immigration status, waiver of inadmissibility, asylum withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. On appeal, Petitioner argued that the agency relied on a wrong legal standard and wrongfully applied that standard in his case. The First Circuit held (1) the BIA adequately considered the question of extraordinary circumstances called for in Matter of Jean, 23 I. & N. Dec. 373 (A.G. 2002); and (2) this Court lacked jurisdiction to consider the relative weight the BIA accorded to the evidence to deny the waiver of inadmissibility. View "Peulic v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part the declaratory judgment and permanent injunction issued by the district court in this class action challenging the bond procedures used to detain noncitizen during the pendency of removal proceedings under 8 U.S.C. 1226(a), the discretionary immigration detention provision, holding that the district court lacked jurisdiction to issue injunctive relief in favor of the class.Specifically, the First Circuit held (1) the district court did not err in declaring that noncitizens "detained pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1226(a) are entitled to receive a bond hearing at which the government must prove the alien is either dangerous by clear and convincing evidence or a risk of flight by a preponderance of the evidence"; (2) the classwide injunction in this case unlawfully enjoined or restrained the operation of section 1226(a); and (3) the remaining portion of the district court's declaration was advisory. View "Pereira Brito v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied the petition filed by Petitioner, a native and citizen of Haiti, seeking review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) that affirmed the denial of Petitioner's application for protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that Petitioner's claims failed.After Petitioner was served with a notice to appear alleging that he was subject to removal, Petitioner filed an application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the CAT. An immigration judge (IJ) denied Petitioner's application. The BIA affirmed and adopted the IJ's determination. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the lower courts did not err in finding that Petitioner failed to show that it was more likely than not that he would be tortured in Haiti if he returned. View "Bonnet v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit granted in part and denied in part Petitioner's petition for review of the decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) determining that Petitioner's previous conviction constituted a "particularly serious crime" making him ineligible for withholding of removal and denying his application for deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that the BIA erred in part.The lower agencies found that Petitioner's conviction for possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 94C, 32A(a) was a particularly serious crime rendering him ineligible for withholding of removal and denied his application for deferral of removal under the CAT. The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review insofar as he sought CAT relief but granted the petition in part because the immigration judge informed Petitioner that he was eligible for potential relief only under the CAT and treated Petitioner's conviction for drug trafficking as if it were a per se bar to withholding of removal. The First Circuit remanded the case to the BIA with instructions to give Petitioner a new hearing to determine whether he was entitled to withholding of removal. View "De Carvalho v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit dismissed one of the claims in Petitioner's petition for review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissing Petitioner's challenges to the denial of his asylum and withholding of removal claims and denied the others, holding that Petitioner was not entitled to relief.An immigration judge denied Petitioner's applications for asylum, withholding of removal, cancellation of removal, protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture and voluntary departure. The BIA dismissed Petitioner's appeal. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) this Court lacked jurisdiction to consider Petitioner's first claim on appeal because Petitioner failed to exhaust his administrative remedies; (2) the BIA's decision on Petitioner's political opinion claim was supported by substantial evidence; and (3) Petitioner's withholding of removal claim failed because his asylum claim failed. View "Gomes v. Garland" on Justia Law