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The First Circuit denied Petitioner’s petition for review seeking to appeal an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying Petitioner’s motion to reopen his immigration proceedings as untimely, holding that the BIA did not abuse its discretion in rejecting Petitioner’s equitable tolling argument. Petitioner’s motion to reopen was filed outside the ninety-day limitations period set forth by statute and regulation. The BIA denied the motion to reopen as untimely. Specifically, the BIA found that Petitioner had not exercised the due diligence required by case law, and thus the ninety-day limitations period for filing such a motion could not be equitably tolled. The First Circuit affirmed the BIA’s denial of Petitioner’s motion to reopen, holding that, even assuming that equitable tolling could apply to motions to reopen, Petitioner failed to show that he acted with the diligence required to obtain such relief. View "Medina v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

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Lina Thoung emigrated from Cambodia to the United States in 2002 using a fraudulently obtained visa in the name and birthdate of another person. In 2007, she obtained U.S. citizenship and affirmed she had never provided false information to any government official while applying for any immigration benefit. Her fraud was discovered in 2012. She subsequently pleaded guilty to misusing a visa, permit, and other documents to obtain citizenship. As part of her plea agreement, she jointly stipulated to denaturalization under 8 U.S.C. 1451(e) and removal from the United States. Relying on 8 U.S.C. 1228(c)(5), the district court entered an order of removal. Immigration authorities, unable to deport Thoung back to Cambodia, eventually released her subject to an Order of Supervision. Under this order, Thoung could be arrested and deported at any time. Thoung filed a writ of habeas corpus with the district court alleging the court had lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to enter its order of removal. The district court reaffirmed its jurisdiction to order removal and rejected Thoung’s habeas petition. The Tenth Circuit held that, because of the REAL ID Act’s limitations on judicial review, the district court lacked jurisdiction to entertain Thoung’s habeas petition challenging the prior removal order. Because the district court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction and thus lacked power to enter its October 2017 Memorandum and Order, that judgment was vacated. View "Thoung v. United States" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's dismissal of petitioner's appeal based on the ineffective assistance of counsel. Petitioner claimed that counsel misled her into accepting voluntary departure by telling her she would immediately be deported if she did not accept it. The court held that petitioner bore the burden of producing a transcript of the hearing and, because she did not produce a transcript, the court found that it could rely on the IJ's reconstruction of the record. However, in this case, the IJ's reconstruction may be incomplete and the court was unable to fully assess petitioner's voluntariness in regard to her acceptance of a voluntary departure. Therefore, the court remanded to the BIA to determine the full scope of that issue. View "Flores-Panameno v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner’s petition seeking judicial review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying her motion to reopen removal proceedings, holding that the BIA did not commit an error of law or abuse its wide discretion. After the Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings against Petitioner and the case was remanded, an immigration judge (IJ) ultimately denied Petitioner’s motion to suppress, ordered Petitioner removed, and granted voluntary departure. The BIA upheld the IJ’s decision. Petitioner filed a motion to reopen, arguing that changed conditions in Mexico made her newly eligible for asylum. The BIA denied the motion to reopen. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the BIA did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to reopen. View "Garcia-Aguilar v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of Honduras, sought review of the BIA's decision denying his motion to reopen his removal proceedings so that he could apply for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The Fifth Circuit held that the BIA acted within its discretion in declining to reopen petitioner's in absentia removal proceedings based on lack of notice. The court did not reach the merits of petitioner's claim contending that the BIA abused its discretion denying his motion to reopen because the court lacked jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. 1231(a)(5), over this question of fact. The court also held that petitioner's contention that the BIA violated his due process rights was unavailing, because this court has held that no liberty interest existed in a motion to reopen, and therefore due process claims were not cognizable in the context of reopening proceedings. The court rejected petitioner's remaining claims and dismissed the petition in part and denied it in part. View "Mejia v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a citizen of Nepal, sought review of the BIA's denial of his application for asylum and withholding of removal under the material support terrorist bar. Petitioner fled Nepal because a terrorist organization was torturing and threatening him repeatedly. Shortly before leaving Nepal, he gave the equivalent of $50 US dollars to a member of the terrorist organization, because the terrorist demanded the money and petitioner was fearful of what might happen to him if he did not comply. The Ninth Circuit held that it lacked jurisdiction to consider petitioner's duress argument and dismissed the petition in part. The panel denied the petition in part and held that the INA's material support bar contained no implied exception for de minimis aid in the form of funds. Therefore, substantial evidence supported the IJ's finding that petitioner gave material support to a terrorist organization and he was therefore ineligible for asylum and withholding of removal. View "Rayamajhi v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied and dismissed Petitioner’s petition challenging the Board of Immigration Appeals’s (BIA) denial of her motion to reopen and the BIA’s decision not to exercise its sua sponte authority to reopen her case to grant her request for an adjustment of status, holding that Petitioner was not entitled to relief. Specifically, the First Circuit held (1) Petitioner’s petition for review was denied as to her challenge to the BIA’s determination that the motion to reopen was untimely; and (2) because Petitioner had no colorable constitutional or legal claim on which the Court might base jurisdiction, the petition was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction as to Petitioner’s challenge to the BIA’s decision not to exercise its authority to reopen sua sponte. View "Gyamfi v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for possessing a firearm while being an alien unlawfully in the United States. The panel assumed without deciding that unlawful aliens in the United States held some degree of rights under the Second Amendment and held that 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5) is constitutional under intermediate scrutiny. The panel held that the government's interests in controlling crime and ensuring public safety are promoted by keeping firearms out of the hands of unlawful aliens—who are subject to removal, are difficult to monitor due to an inherent incentive to falsify information and evade law enforcement, and have already shown they are unable or unwilling to conform their conduct to the laws of this country. View "United States v. Manuel Torres" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a citizen and native of El Salvador, challenged the BIA's dismissal of his appeal of the IJ's denial of his application for withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The court assumed, without deciding, that petitioner was a member of a particular social group comprised of his disabled father's immediate family members and that he suffered past persecution in El Salvador. Even with that assumption, the court held that petitioner failed to establish the requisite nexus between any persecution he suffered and his relation to his disabled father. Accordingly, the court denied the petition for review. View "Cortez-Mendez v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

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In 2007, Oscar Almanza-Vigil pleaded guilty in Colorado state court to “selling or distributing” methamphetamine in Colorado, for which he received a four-year prison sentence. In 2009, when the state paroled him, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) initiated expedited removal proceedings against him, declaring that he had committed an aggravated felony. With that designation, he had no right to an administrative hearing before an immigration judge. Within the week, the Department of Homeland Security had issued a final administrative removal order, and ICE agents had sent Almanza-Vigil back across the border to Mexico. Six years later, border-patrol agents found Almanza-Vigil in the New Mexico desert. Charged with illegal reentry, Almanza-Vigil moved to dismiss the indictment by collaterally attacking his previous removal order and arguing, for the first time, that he never committed an aggravated felony. The Tenth Circuit determined Almanza-Vigil’s Colorado felony did not fit the Immigration and Naturalization Act's (INA) definition of an aggravated felony. But the Court also concluded he failed to demonstrate a reasonable likelihood of avoiding removal but for the erroneous classification of his conviction. Therefore, the Court affirmed Almanza-Vigil's conviction. View "United States v. Almanza-Vigil" on Justia Law