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The question presented in this appeal for the Tenth Circuit's review was whether Petitioner Juan Lucio-Rayos’s municipal theft conviction qualified as a crime involving moral turpitude (“CIMT”), which would have made him ineligible for cancellation of removal. Lucio-Rayos was convicted under a divisible municipal code provision that set forth several different theft offenses, some of which qualified as CIMTs and some of which did not. Applying a modified categorical approach, the Tenth Circuit determined it was not possible to tell which theft offense was the basis of Lucio-Rayos’s conviction. The Court held it was Lucio-Rayos’s burden to establish his eligibility for cancellation of removal, and because the record was inconclusive to this end, the Court upheld the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”)’s determination that Lucio-Rayos did not show that he was eligible for cancellation of removal. Furthermore, the immigration judge (“IJ”) did not deprive Lucio-Rayos of due process by refusing to recuse from hearing his case. View "Lucio-Rayos v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native of El Salvador, petitioned for review of the BIA's order upholding the denial of his motion to reopen removal proceedings and declining to reopen proceedings sua sponte or to grant administrative closure. The Fifth Circuit denied the petition in part because the BIA did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the petition and declining to administratively close the case. In this case, the controlling statutory requirements, of which petitioner had notice, obligated him to keep the immigration court apprised of his current contact information. Therefore, the court rejected petitioner's claims of lack of notice and violation of due process. The court dismissed in part because it lacked jurisdiction to review the BIA's refusal to reopen proceedings sua sponte. View "Hernandez-Castillo v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision holding that petitioner was statutorily ineligible for cancellation of removal for failure to establish seven years continuous residence in the United States after being "admitted in any status." In this case, petitioner was "admitted" in 1993 when he was waved across the border after inspection by an immigration officer. The panel held that petitioner's procedurally regular admission in 1993 was an admission in any status under 8 U.S.C. 1229b(a)(2), because the phrase "in any status" plainly encompasses every status recognized by immigration statutes, lawful or unlawful. View "Villalba Saldivar v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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Acquaah, now age 63, came from Ghana to the U.S. on a visitor’s visa and obtained conditional permanent resident status based on his marriage to a U.S. citizen. His application to remove residency conditions began proceedings that have spanned more than 25 years and included a charge that the marriage was entered into for the sole purpose of procuring entry as an immigrant. While those proceedings were pending, his first marriage ended, he remarried a U.S. citizen, and the two had a daughter. He obtained permanent residency under a different name on the basis of that second marriage. After discovery that he had used a new name, Acquaah was charged as statutorily deportable, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(C)(i), and ineligible for a fraud waiver. The Seventh Circuit remanded. At his final hearing, Acquaah faced two charges: a 1992 charge of deportability based on termination of his permanent resident status and a later charge that he was deportable as an alien who by fraud or willful misrepresentation sought to procure immigration. The IJ found only the charge relating to the termination of conditional residency, sustained. The Board treated the specific statutory charge that the government decided to lodge and prove as dispositive of whether the waiver is available, but should have considered whether the charge sustained against Acquaah is related to fraud. View "Acquaah v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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In these consolidated appeals, petitioner and his father sought review of the BIA's holding that petitioner was inadmissible to the United States and ineligible to adjust his citizenship status because his conviction for misprision of a felony is a crime involving moral turpitude. Furthermore, the government challenged two aspects of the district court's decision. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the BIA's order in the first appeal and denied the petition for review, holding that the BIA did not err in holding that misprision of a felony is a crime of moral turpitude. Although the district court correctly held that the residency requirements of 8 U.S.C. 1401 and 1409 violate equal protection, the court reversed the district court's judgment that petitioner is a United States citizen under a constitutional reading of those statutes in light of the limited remedy the Supreme Court announced for that violation. View "Villegas-Sarabia v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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Georgia appealed a habeas court’s order granting relief to appellee Thomas Addaquay on the ground that his plea counsel was constitutionally ineffective in incorrectly advising him of the immigration consequences of his plea of guilty. In 2012, Addaquay pled guilty to criminal damage to property in the second degree for conduct that occurred in 2002 and was sentenced as for a misdemeanor to 11 months and 29 days on probation. At that time, Addaquay was a “green card” holder and lawful permanent resident of the United States. Addaquay did not claim that the deportation consequences of his plea were unclear or uncertain, but instead claimed that he was clearly deportable based on his plea of guilty to criminal damage to property in the second degree and that plea counsel performed deficiently in telling him that he would not be deported. The Georgia Supreme Court concluded this claim of ineffective assistance of counsel was without merit: the decisive issue was whether Addaquay committed the crime within five years of his “date of admission” to this country. Addaquay failed to show that he was deportable under the removal statute, 8 USC 1227. View "Georgia v. Addaquay" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit vacated the order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) rejecting Petitioner’s claim for withholding of removal. In her application for relief, Petitioner, a native and citizen of Honduras, alleged that she had an abusive relationship with her ex-husband. An immigration judge (IJ) concluded that Petitioner’s testimony was not credible and that the abuse compiled in documentary evidence was not sufficiently serious and persistent to warrant relief. The BIA dismissed Petitioner’s appeal based solely on its ruling that the IJ did not commit clear error in her adverse credibility determination. The First Circuit remanded the matter for further proceedings, holding that, irrespective of the supportability of the adverse credibility finding, remand was required for the BIA to consider Petitioner’s potentially significant documentary evidence. View "Aguilar-Escoto v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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Born in Pakistan, Haroon came to the U.S. on a visitor’s visa in 2002. Six months later, Haroon returned to Pakistan, married Bano, and the couple had a son. One week after the birth, they divorced. The next day, Haroon returned to the U.S. on another six-month visa. Within two months, Haroon married McVey, an American citizen. They filed a relative petition which permitted Haroon to apply for permanent residence. After a two-year probationary period, Haroon applied to have the conditions on his permanent residence removed. While that application was pending, Haroon and McVey divorced. Haroon became an American citizen. At each stage of this process, Haroon lied. The forms (G-325, I- 485, I-751, and N-400) asked whether Haroon had any children or former wives. On each form and in interviews, Haroon denied marrying Bano and denied the existence of children, even after returning to Bano in Pakistan during the probationary period and after Bano gave birth to another son nine months later. One month after becoming a citizen, Haroon returned to Pakistan, where he remarried Bano. He flew back to the U.S and filed relative petitions for Bano, two sons, and seven other family members. The government charged Haroon with “knowingly procur[ing]” his citizenship “contrary to law,” 18 U.S.C. 1425(a). The Sixth CIrcuit affirmed his conviction, sentence of two years’ probation, and revocation of his citizenship. View "United States v. Haroon" on Justia Law

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Haruna Giwa appealed the summary dismissal of his application for post-conviction relief based on a newly adopted rule of criminal procedure. Giwa pleaded guilty to interference with a telephone during an emergency call, and the district court entered the criminal judgment on November 17, 2015. Giwa was not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Giwa was paroled into the United States in November 2014. In 2016, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") terminated Giwa's parole status. As part of his guilty plea, Giwa signed an acknowledgment of rights, waiver of appearance, plea agreement, and plea on November 16, 2015. However, the acknowledgment and plea documents did not include information about the possible immigration consequences if Giwa was not a United States citizen. Giwa applied for post-conviction relief, arguing he was not advised of "the right to a jury trial, the right to cross-examine adverse witnesses, the right to be protected from compelled self-incrimination or to testify and present evidence." Giwa also argued he was not informed of the potential immigration status consequences if he pleaded guilty to interference with a telephone during an emergency call. Further, Giwa contends he did not know DHS would terminate his parole and detain him due to pleading guilty to a crime. The district court denied Giwa's application for post-conviction relief and granted the State's motion for summary disposition under N.D.C.C. 29-32.1-09. In granting the State's motion, the district court determined Giwa acknowledged his rights, including the waiver of his right to counsel. Additionally, the district court concluded the addition of N.D.R.Crim.P.11(b)(1)(j) did not apply retroactively, meaning neither the State nor the district court had an obligation to inform Giwa about the effect of a guilty plea on his immigration status. Finding no reversible error in that judgment, the North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed. View "Giwa v. North Dakota" on Justia Law

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Asentic, a Bosnian Serb who is now 65, was granted refugee status and brought his family to the U.S. from the former Yugoslavia more than 15 years ago. He has been a permanent resident for nearly that long, but the Board of Immigration Appeals authorized the government to remove Asentic because, in applying for refugee status, he failed to disclose his participation as a combatant in the Bosnian conflict during the 1990s. The Board could have granted Asentic a discretionary waiver of removal under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(1)(H) but declined to do so. The Seventh Circuit rejected Asentic’s appeal. “Although he presents a sympathetic case,” he is removable based on fraud, and the court lacked jurisdiction to review the Board’s discretionary decision to deny the waiver. View "Asentic v. Sessions" on Justia Law