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The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's denial of petitioner's motion to suppress evidence. In this case, petitioner was on a fishing trip with friends when his boat lost power. When Coast Guard officers arrived to tow the boat, they detained petitioner and subsequently placed him in removal proceedings. The panel held that petitioner made a prima facie showing that the Coast Guard officers who detained him violated 8 C.F.R. 287.8(b)(2), which requires that an immigration officer have reasonable suspicion, based on specific articulable facts that a person is, or is attempting to be, engaged in an offense against the United States, or is an alien illegally in the United States, in order for the immigration officer to briefly detain the person for questioning. In this case petitioner was detained solely on the basis of his race and his detention was contrary to the requirements of section 287.8(b)(2). Furthermore, the violation alleged by petitioner was egregious both for its grotesque nature and its patent unlawfulness. View "Sanchez v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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A Lebanese citizen, Al-Saka married Hashem, a U.S. citizen, in Beirut in 1999. He entered the U.S. in 2001 as a conditional permanent resident based on his marriage to Hashem continuing for at least two years. Just weeks later, the couple signed a religious divorce. In August 2001, the Lebanese government granted a legal divorce. Two months later, Michigan annulled the marriage at Hashem’s request after finding that “there had been no marital cohabitation.” In 2003, Al-Saka married another woman in Lebanon and took steps to remove the permanent-residence condition. Because he had divorced Hashem, he could not file a joint petition with her, as the law requires, 8 U.S.C. 1186a(c)–(d). He instead claimed that deportation would cause hardship and that he married Hashem in good faith. An UJ found that Al-Saka and Hashem did not marry in good faith, and refused to waive the joint-petition requirement. She rejected his hardship claim on the ground that his family remained in Lebanon. The BIA affirmed. The Sixth Circuit denied Al-Saka’s petition for relief, noting substantial evidence that his first marriage was not in good faith and rejecting a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. View "Al-Saka v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of an IJ's decision affirming an asylum officer's negative reasonable fear determination in reinstatement removal proceedings. Petitioner asserted that he was deprived his due process rights and a fair hearing before the asylum officer, because he was provided a Spanish-language interpreter rather than an interpreter in his native language Chuj. The panel rejected this claim and held that petitioner had indicated he understood "a lot" of Spanish and consented to proceeding in Spanish. Furthermore, petitioner had an opportunity to correct any errors or submit additional evidence on review. The panel also rejected petitioner's due process claims related to his reasonable fear review hearing. However, the panel granted the petition for review of the IJ's decision rejecting for lack of jurisdiction petitioner's motion to reopen reasonable fear proceedings. In this case, the IJ abused its discretion when he failed to recognize that he had at least sua sponte jurisdiction to reopen proceedings. Accordingly, the panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Bartolome v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's denial of petitioner's motion to reopen. In this case, petitioner's application for cancellation of removal was denied for reasons that have since become legally infirm. However, petitioner reentered the country illegally rather than challenge his removal from abroad. Petitioner was re-apprehended by immigration authorities more than a decade later. The court held that his original order of removal was not subject to being reopened because he conceded that he had reentered the United States illegally after having been removed. View "Rodriguez-Saragosa v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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In 2014, Appellant pled guilty to felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a billy club. He also admitted the allegations in the motion to revoke probation in an earlier case. Appellant was sentenced to three years’ probation and a 180-day county jail term. When he entered his pleas the court explained, and Appellant acknowledged, the possible immigration consequences of his convictions. Counsel stated he had advised Appellant accordingly. Appellant was placed in removal proceedings but was granted cancellation of the removal. In 2015, Appellant was found in possession of methamphetamine for sale, resisted arrest, and attempted to destroy evidence; he was placed on probation for five years. In the new criminal case, Appellant pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and was sentenced to 360 days in the county jail. In 2017, Appellant moved to vacate revocation of probation under Penal Code 1473.7(a)(1), alleging ineffective assistance of counsel regarding the immigration consequences of his admission and sentence. The court of appeal affirmed denial of the motion. Appellant, a convicted felon currently on formal probation, is not entitled to the relief under section 1473.7. He did not establish ineffective assistance; the trial court would not have tolerated any lesser sentence and it is unlikely Appellant would have gone to trial under the circumstances. View "People v. Cruz-Lopez" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's order of removal because petitioner had derivative citizenship from his citizen father. The court held that the temporary physical separation caused by petitioner's time in federal pretrial juvenile detention did not strip petitioner's father of his "physical custody" of petitioner as that term is used in 8 U.S.C. 1431(a), and therefore petitioner is a U.S. citizen. The court explained that the statutory context and history of the derivative citizenship statute indicate that the "physical custody" requirement ensures that the legal permanent resident child, such as petitioner, has a strong connection to the naturalizing parent and to the United States at the time the child becomes eligible for derivative citizenship. Furthermore, the applicable canons of statutory interpretation also favored construing the term "physical custody" so that such custody does not terminate upon a brief, temporary separation from a parent; and the distinctive nature of federal pretrial juvenile detention—which encourages continued family involvement with the child during such detention—further supports the conclusion that petitioner's father retained "physical custody" over him. View "Khalid v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit dismissed Petitioner’s petition for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) final decision denying his application for cancellation of removal, holding that the Court lacked jurisdiction over Petitioner’s challenges to the BIA’s decision. Petitioner, a native and citizen of Guatemala who entered the United States illegally, filed an application for cancellation of removal pursuant to section 240A(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1229b(b)(1). Due in part to criminal charges pending against Defendant of child molestation, an immigration judge (IJ) denied Petitioner’s request. The BIA affirmed the IJ and dismissed Petitioner’s appeal. The First Circuit dismissed Petitioner’s petition for review, holding that jurisdiction was lacking where Petitioner stated no colorable legal or constitutional claim. View "Rivera v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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Tima, a citizen of Cameroon, entered the U.S. in 1989 on a nonimmigrant student visa. To stay past his student-eligibility period, he entered into a sham marriage. Tima pleaded guilty to a felony charge of making false statements, admitting to the sham. The government did not promptly issue a notice to appear. In 1997, Tima married a now-naturalized citizen. They have three children, all U.S. citizens. The government issued Tima a notice to appear in 2003. An IJ sustained charges of marriage fraud (8 U.S.C.1227(a)(1)(G)(ii)), termination of conditional-permanent-resident status (1227(a)(1)(D)(i)), and a moral-turpitude conviction (1227(a)(2)(A)(i)) and ruled that the fraud waiver, under which the Attorney General may waive a removal charge that is based on inadmissibility for misrepresenting a material fact to gain admission, could extend to the marriage-fraud charge but not to the other charges. The BIA affirmed. The Third Circuit denied Tima’s petition for review. If the Attorney General grants a fraud waiver, the Act automatically extends that waiver to other removal provisions based on “grounds of inadmissibility directly resulting from such fraud or misrepresentation” (1227(a)(1)(H)), but a removal charge based on a post-admission crime is not based on a “ground of inadmissibility.” View "Tima v. Attorney General United States" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's order of removal. The panel held that petitioner was not removable under 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(C)(ii)(I), as an alien who made a false claim of citizenship to obtain private employment, because there was no basis in the record to conclude that he represented himself as a citizen on a Form I–9. In this case, there was nothing in the record showing that petitioner ever filled out a Form I-9 and thus nothing in the record to show that he made a false representation of citizenship. The panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Diaz-Jimenez v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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Where a state statute contains two layers of disjunctive lists, the analysis outlined in Taylor v. United States, 495 U.S. 575 (1990), for applying the categorical approach, applies to both layers of the statute and must be performed twice. A methamphetamine conviction under California Health & Safety Code 11378 or 11379(a) does not qualify as a controlled substance offense under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(B)(i). The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's order finding petitioner removable for a controlled substance offense. The panel held that the California definition of methamphetamine was broader than the federal definition. The panel also held that the methamphetamine element applicable to a conviction under sections 11378 or 11379(a) was not divisible, because the different varieties of methamphetamine covered by California law were alternative means of committing a single crime rather than alternative elements of separate crimes. Therefore, the panel did not apply the modified categorical approach. View "Atenia Lorenzo v. Sessions" on Justia Law