Articles Posted in U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of Albania, sought review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's finding that she was subject to removal and ineligible for relief from deportation because she knowingly filed a frivolous application for asylum. The court denied the petition for review where petitioner received notice consistent with the Immigration and Naturalization Act's, 8 U.S.C. 1158(d)(6) and (d)(4), requirement that she be notified of the consequences of filing a frivolous asylum application at the time of its filing. View "Ruga v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of the Dominican Republic, became a lawful permanent resident of the Untied States in 1990. At issue was whether the BIA correctly found petitioner removable as an aggravated felon, even though the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles had earlier pardoned petitioner for the conviction that rendered him removable. The court concluded that petitioner's pardon did not reinstate his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, a privilege he lost under Georgia law as a result of his conviction. Therefore, petitioner did not receive a "full" pardon, and 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(vi) does not apply. Accordingly, the court denied the petition for review. View "Castillo v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

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Petitioner and her husband, natives and citizens of China, sought review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's denial of petitioner's application for asylum, withholding of removal, and her husband's application for asylum and withholding of deportation. The court concluded that petitioner and her husband failed to show that the IJ and BIA erred in determining that the 2006 Tingjian Document- which ordered the sterilization of either petitioner or her husband when they returned to China - was unauthenticated, and therefore, the IJ and BIA did not err in giving it little or no weight; substantial evidence supported the BIA's conclusion that petitioner failed to show a well-founded fear of persecution where the BIA distinguished between U.S.-born and Chinese-born children for the purposes of enforcing China's family planning policy; and the court could not say that the record compelled a conclusion that there was a reasonable possibility that petitioner would face economic persecution if she returned to China. Accordingly, the court denied the petition for review. View "Wu v. US Attorney General" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a native of Brazil, sought to adjust her immigration status to become a legal permanent resident. On appeal, plaintiff challenged the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of DHS. The court concluded that the remarriage bar in the second sentence of the "intermediate relatives" definition of 8 U.S.C. 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) did not apply to plaintiff's renewed application to adjust her status under the recently enacted section 1154(l). Accordingly, the court reversed the grant of summary judgment and remanded for entry of judgment in favor of plaintiff. View "Williams v. Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, et al." on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of Mexico, petitioned for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's denial of his application for withholding of removal. The record reflected that the members of petitioner's family were killed or kidnapped due to their failure to cooperate with drug traffickers or were the victims of criminal activity. The court concluded that substantial evidence supported the BIA's decision that petitioner failed to establish a nexus between his membership in a particular social group and the harm he feared in Mexico. Accordingly, the court affirmed the BIA's determination that petitioner did not establish either past persecution or that he would more likely than not be persecuted based on his membership in a particular social group if returned to Mexico. The court denied the petition for review. View "Rodriguez v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of Antigua, petitioned for review of the BIA's affirmance of an IJ's determination that petitioner was not eligible for cancellation of removal because he committed an aggravated felony. The court concluded that a conviction under Fla. Stat. 893.13(1)(a)(2) for the possession of cannabis with the intent to sell or deliver was not, as a matter of law, a drug trafficking aggravated felony. Petitioner and others convicted under this statute could still be able to meet their burden to demonstrate eligibility for cancellation of removal, and should be given a chance to shoulder that burden. Accordingly, the court granted the petition, vacating and remanding for further proceedings. View "Donawa v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

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Defendant and his wife were indicted on charges of marriage fraud, in violation of 8 U.S.C. 1325(c), and making a false, fictitious or fraudulent statement to DHS, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001(a)(2). On appeal, defendant challenged the district court's motion to dismiss his marriage fraud indictment on statute of limitations grounds. The court concluded that the district court abused its discretion in denying defendant's motion to dismiss and reversed the judgment because the plain meaning of section 1325(c) dictated that the crime of marriage fraud was complete on the date of marriage and, as a result, the government's indictment was time-barred. View "United States v. Roja" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of Mexico, petitioned for review of the BIA's decision to deny his request for relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The IJ and BIA concluded that petitioner was subject to removal and that he was not entitled to relief under the CAT because he had failed to prove that it was more likely than not that he would be tortured in Mexico. The court denied the petition for relief, concluding that the BIA committed no error of law; rejected defendant's argument that his removal to Mexico would violate his right to due process; and directed the court to seal records of petitioner's guilty plea and those portions of the record that contained information about the identity and whereabouts of petitioner's family. View "Perez-Guerrero v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a Colombian national, petitioned for review of a final order of the BIA affirming the denial of his application for asylum and withholding of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101, and withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The BIA concluded that petitioner provided material support to a designated terrorist organization, the AUC, in the form of six annual payments of $300 in war taxes. Alternatively, the BIA found that petitioner's claims for relief failed on the merits. The court concluded that the BIA's factual finding that petitioner paid $1,800 to a designated terrorist organization was supported by substantial evidence; the fact that the AUC was demobilized in 2006 did not render the material support bar inapplicable; it was not relevant whether petitioner knew, or should have known, that the AUC was deemed a terrorist organization; the BIA's legal determinations that the funds provided by petitioner constituted "material support" within the meaning of the statutory bar and that the statute did not contain a duress exception were permissible constructions of the INA to which the court must defer; and the BIA reasonably concluded that the statutory bar did not exempt material support provided to a terrorist organization under duress. Accordingly, the court denied the petition. View "Alturo, et al v. US Attorney General" on Justia Law

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Petitioners Ortiz and Malpica petitioned for review of the BIA's order affirming the IJ's order of removal, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(1)(A), on the grounds that they were inadmissible at the time of their adjustment of status. The court found that the IJ erred as a matter of law in finding petitioners inadmissible pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) because that section only applied to applicants for admission and not to immigrants like petitioners who sought post-entry adjustment of status while already in the United States. Because willful misrepresentation was an essential element of both fraud and willful misrepresentation and because the IJ found that Ortiz did not make any willful misrepresentation, Ortiz was not inadmissible under 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(C)(i). Under Matter of Arrabally, Malpica's exit pursuant to a grant of advance parole did not qualify as a "departure" within the meaning of 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) and Malpica was, thus, not inadmissible under this section. Accordingly, the court granted the petition for review. View "Ortiz-Bouchet, et al v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law