Articles Posted in U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals

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Petitioner, a citizen of El Salvador, entered the United States without being admitted or paroled. The next year, Petitioner was detained after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid at her place of employment. Petitioner filed applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture, asserting that she would be a target of a prominent gang’s violence if she were to return to El Salvador because of the gang’s unsuccessful efforts to recruit her son. An immigration judge (IJ) concluded that Petitioner was not entitled to relief. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) upheld the IJ’s decision, concluding that Petitioner failed to show that she would be persecuted as a result of her kinship. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the evidence of future persecution based on Petitioner’s membership in her nuclear family was too speculative to show a well-founded fear of future persecution. View "De Abarca v. Holder" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of Brazil, was charged with removability for being convicted, after his admission into the United States, of two crimes involving moral turpitude. The crimes were committed in 2009 and 2011. During a hearing before an Immigration Judge (IJ) Petitioner’s attorney admitted that Petitioner was removable as charged. Petitioner proceeded to collaterally attack his previous two convictions and succeeded in securing a new trial with respect to his 2011 conviction. Petitioner was subsequently charged with removability on the basis of his 2009 conviction for having been convicted of a single crime involving moral turpitude. Petitioner denied that he was removable and challenged his removability on grounds that his 2009 conviction was not for a crime involving moral turpitude. The IJ found Petitioner removable, and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed, noting that Petitioner’s prior counsel had already conceded that both the 2009 and 2011 convictions were for crimes involving moral turpitude, rendering Petitioner removable. The First Circuit denied Petitioner’s petition for review, holding that the BIA did not abuse its discretion in holding Petitioner to his attorneys’ concessions of removability and in determining that Petitioner was removable based upon his 2009 conviction. View "Lima v. Holder" on Justia Law

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Petitioner Ali Shah entered the country in 2002. His removal proceedings lasted for well over ten years. He had the benefit of two de novo hearings before two different IJs, and his appeals were considered by the BIA on multiple occasions and petitions for review to the Third Circuit. Shah's motion for a change of venue was granted and this matter was transferred from Philadelphia to Boston in 2009. The focus of this appeal before the First Circuit Court of Appeals centered on the circumstances that followed the change of venue. Petitioner argued on appeal that the BIA did not properly address either of his arguments going to earlier adverse credibility findings. He made a series of arguments in support of reopening that were never presented to the BIA. The BIA did not abuse its discretion in denying Shah's motion to reopen and the First Circuit did not have jurisdiction to consider freshly minted arguments not presented to the agency, so it both dismissed portions of petitioner's petition for lack of jurisdiction and denied the petition for review as to other claims. View "Shah v. Holder" on Justia Law

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Petitioners were brothers and natives and citizens of Guatemala. While they lived in Guatemala, their father was kidnapped and murdered by the family of a business associate. Petitioners had paid a ransom to the kidnappers, but threats against Petitioners continued, and Petitioners fled to the United States. Petitioners subsequently filed an application for asylum and withholding of removal, asserting that they were persecuted on account of their membership in a particular social group, which they defined as their immediate family. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denied the applications, concluding that the harm Petitioners suffered in Guatemala was not on account of their membership in a protected social group and that it was less likely than not that they would be tortured by government authorities upon returning to their home country. The First Circuit reversed, holding that the BIA’s conclusion as to the asylum claim was legally flawed and not supported by the record. Remanded for further proceedings. View "Aldana-Ramos v. Holder" on Justia Law

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In 1999, Petitioner admitted to a single count of shoplifting in Massachusetts state court. In 2012, Petitioner admitted to an amended charge of larceny by inducement. The following year, Petitioner was charged with removability as an alien who has been convicted of or admits to having committed "a crime involving moral turpitude.” Petitioner applied for special rule cancellation, arguing that he fell within the petty offense exception because his shoplifting conviction was not a crime involving moral turpitude. The Immigration Judge denied Petitioner’s application. The Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed Petitioner’s appeal, concluding that the IJ properly found that Petitioner’s shoplifting conviction was, in addition to the larceny conviction, a crime involving moral turpitude, making him ineligible for the petty offense exception. The First Circuit granted Petitioner’s petition for review, holding that the BIA did not provide a comprehensive analysis to support its conclusion Petitioner’s shoplifting conviction was also a crime involving moral turpitude, and therefore, the case must be remanded to the BIA for further proceedings. View "Mejia v. Holder" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native of Guatemala, entered the United States without inspection sometime in 1999 or 2000. In 2006, Petitioner was charged with removability. In 2011, Petitioner conceded removability and filed an application for withholding of removal, arguing that he would be targeted for extortion and violence by Guatemalan gangs because he had stayed in the United States for an extended period and thus would be perceived as wealthy upon his return to Guatemala. An Immigration Judge denied Petitioner’s application, concluding that Petitioner had failed to show that he was a member of a particular social group and could not show a “clear probability” that he would likely be persecuted upon returning to Guatemala. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed. The First Circuit Court of Appeals denied Petitioner’s petition for review, holding that the BIA’s judgment was reasonable and consistent with the Court’s past precedent, as well as with its own. View "Sam v. Holder" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of China, came to the United States without a visa or other valid entry document. Petitioner applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture, asserting that she opposed China’s population control policy and would be forced to undergo involuntary sterilization if she were returned to China. After a hearing, an Immigration Judge found that Petitioner was not credible, denied all forms of relief, and ordered Petitioner removed to China. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed. Petitioner filed a motion to reopen the removal proceedings, which the BIA denied as untimely. More than seven years after her first untimely motion and almost twelve years after she was first ordered removed to China, Petitioner filed a second motion to reopen, alleging a material change in country conditions. The BIA denied Petitioner’s motion, concluding that Petitioner’s second motion to reopen was untimely and number-barred under 8 C.F.R. 1003.2(c)(2) and not subject to any exceptions. The First Circuit Court of Appeals denied Petitioner’s petition for review, holding that the BIA did not abuse its discretion in denying Petitioner’s petition. View "Lin v. Holder" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of Indonesia, was charged with removability because he was a noncitizen who overstayed his tourist visa. Petitioner conceded removability but applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture, asserting that he feared returning to Indonesia because he believed he would be subjected to persecution due to his Christian faith. The Immigration Judge denied all relief. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denied Petitioner’s untimely motion to reopen asylum proceedings, concluding that Petitioner failed to demonstrate a change in country circumstances that would excuse the untimeliness of his motion. The First Circuit Court of Appeals denied Petitioner’s petition for review, holding that the BIA did not abuse its discretion in denying Petitioner’s motion to reopen. View "Simarmata v. Holder" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of Haiti, was charged with removability. An Immigration Judge (IJ) eventually ordered Petitioner removed to Haiti. Petitioner filed a motion to reopen the proceedings, alleging that because he had been granted temporary protected status (TPS) he was no longer removable, and that, at a minimum, his case should be administratively closed. The IJ denied the motion, concluding that Petitioner’s receipt of TPS was not a material change justifying reopening his case and that Petitioner’s TPS status did not warrant reopening the case so that the proceedings could be administratively terminated. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissed Petitioner’s subsequent appeal. The First Circuit Court of Appeals denied Petitioner’s petition for review, holding that the BIA did not commit legal error when it refused to reopen Petitioner’s removal proceedings so that they could be administratively closed based on Petitioner’s grant of TPS. View "Donnee v. Holder" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a Chinese national, entered the United States without inspection in 1993. Federal authorities soon served Petitioner with a show-cause order charging removability. Petitioner failed to appear at the scheduled removal hearing, and the immigration judge (IJ) entered an order of deportation in absentia. Several years later, Petitioner moved to reopen the proceedings. The IJ denied Petitioner’s motion as untimely, concluding that Petitioner had waited too long past the 180-day deadline for such motions to file his motion. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed. More than eight years later, Petitioner filed a second motion to reopen directly with the BIA. The BIA denied the second motion to reopen, and the First Circuit Court of Appeals held that the BIA did not abuse its discretion. Almost three years later, Petitioner filed a third motion to reopen. The BIA denied the motion as untimely, concluding that no plausible justification existed for relieving Petitioner from the 180-day deadline. The First Circuit denied Petitioner’s petition for judicial review, holding that the BIA acted within its discretion in finding that Petitioner’s third motion to reopen was untimely. View "Wang v. Holder" on Justia Law