Justia Immigration Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

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The Eighth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's denial of petitioner's request for asylum and/or withholding removal. The court held that substantial evidence supported the BIA's finding that petitioner failed to establish that she suffered past persecution. In this case, although petitioner experienced the tragic loss of her father and brother, her family's disappearance without explanation did not rise to the level of persecution. Rather, the evidence established that her father and brother's kidnappings were the result of criminal activity in the area by persons seeking wealth. The court also held that substantial evidence supported the BIA's finding that petitioner's stated fears of future persecution were not objectively reasonable where her family continues to reside in Honduras unharmed. Finally, substantial evidence supported the BIA's denial of withholding removal. View "Mejia-Ramos v. Barr" on Justia Law

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In 1988, petitioner filed an application for Temporary Resident Status as a Special Agricultural Worker. Over thirty years later, he petitioned to hold that the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) erred in denying his appeal for failure to comply with the agency deadline. The Eighth Circuit denied the petition for review and held that equitable tolling was not appropriate on the facts of petitioner's case. The court held that, regardless of whether petitioner was living at the record address at the time INS sent the notice, his failure to receive it was not an extraordinary circumstance because either updating the agency with a correct address or more closely monitoring the mail were within his control. Furthermore, even if petitioner could establish he did not receive the notice due to a genuinely extraordinary, unavoidable circumstance, the extended lapses in time were evidence that he failed to diligently pursue his rights. View "Capiz-Fabian v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit denied a petition for review of the determination that petitioner was removable under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) because he was convicted in Iowa of committing an aggravated felony. Determining that it had jurisdiction, the court held that DHS was correct when it concluded that petitioner's Iowa forgery conviction qualified as an aggravated felony for purposes of section 1227(a)(2)(iii). The court held that, although DHS erred by issuing a Final Administrative Removal Order before petitioner's deadline to respond expired, petitioner failed to show prejudice. In this case, petitioner's state law crime unarguably qualified as an aggravated felony and there was nothing petitioner could have offered that would change the result. View "Salazar v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's dismissal of petitioner's appeal of an IJ's order denying asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The court held that the IJ relied on personal beliefs and perceived common knowledge to reach unfounded adverse conclusions regarding petitioner's faith, and the IJ gave no weight to translation issues in the proceeding. Consequently, the IJ's credibility determinations were not supported by cogent reasons for disbelief and the BIA erred in upholding these findings. The panel vacated the removal order and remanded for a new credibility determination. View "Jinfeng Tian v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision upholding the IJ's determination that petitioner was removable. The court held that petitioner failed to exhaust his administrative remedies with regard to his challenge to the determination that his firearm offense was a particularly serious crime; petitioner's argument regarding the purported futility of raising the issue to the BIA was unpersuasive; the IJ acted within its authority by considering the facts and circumstances set forth in the criminal complaint; the unlawful-possession-of-a-firearm offense qualified as a particularly serious crime and barred withholding of removal; and there was no reviewable claim of error in regard to the BIA's denial of relief under the Convention Against Torture. View "Marambo v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's conclusion that petitioner was ineligible for adjustment of status because he had previously provided material support to a terrorist organization. The court held that petitioner failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the material support bar did not apply. In this case, he failed to show that the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) he supported was not a terrorist organization, or that he did not know and should not reasonably have known that MFDC was a terrorist organization when he supported it. Finally, collateral estoppel and the law-of-the-case doctrine did not apply because the issue was not previously determined by a valid and final judgment. View "N'Diaye v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision upholding the IJ's conclusion that petitioner was ineligible for cancellation of removal because of a prior conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude. The court held that petitioner's conviction under Nebraska law for making a false statement to a peace officer is a crime involving moral turpitude that renders a petitioner statutorily ineligible for cancellation of removal. Therefore, the IJ and BIA correctly determined that petitioner was ineligible for cancellation of removal. View "Adame-Hernandez v. Barr" on Justia Law

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A proceeding in the district court under 8 U.S.C. 1447(b) does not become moot when the USCIS purports to deny a naturalization application after the applicant has already initiated the court proceeding. In this case, after USCIS failed to reach a decision in plaintiff's citizenship application within 120 days, he filed suit under section 1447(b) to seek a decision in the matter. While the action was pending, USCIS denied the application. Looking to the text and context of the statute, the Eighth Circuit held that USCIS's purported denial of plaintiff's naturalization application after he initiated a district court proceeding under section 1447(b) did not render the case moot. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Haroun v. DHS" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit denied the petition for review of the BIA's decision denying petitioner and her children and mother asylum and withholding of removal. The court held that substantial evidence supported the BIA's determination that petitioners did not experience past persecution or face the requisite risk of future persecution on account of a protected basis. In this case, petitioner did not belong to the asserted particular social group of "women who are in abusive relationships in Mexico that they can't leave." Furthermore, substantial evidence supported the BIA's determination that the mother was not persecuted on account of her familiar relationship with petitioner. Finally, the BIA did not err in denying withholding of removal where an alien who fails to prove eligibility for asylum cannot meet the burden of withholding of removal. View "Wences Godinez v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's denial of petitioner's motion to reopen in abstentia deportation proceedings from 1994. The court held that the BIA did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to reopen based on a claim of lack of notice, because he had previously admitted in his first motion to reopen that he had received notice and his attorney's admission was binding absent a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, which was not present here. Finally, the court lacked jurisdiction to review the BIA's refusal to sua sponte reopen the proceedings. View "Gonzalez v. Barr" on Justia Law