Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

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The Fifth Circuit denied a petition for review of petitioner's reinstated removal order and the BIA's denial of withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). In regard to petitioner's collateral attack on the underlying 2004 in absentia removal order, the court held that the petition for review of the underlying removal order was not filed within 30 days and therefore the court lacked jurisdiction to consider her collateral attacks. The court also held that substantial evidence supported the BIA's conclusion that petitioner was not entitled to withholding of removal as her own testimony shows that she was never harmed and that her fear of future harm was speculative. Furthermore, the BIA's denial of CAT protection was also supported by substantial evidence where petitioner failed to show that she would be tortured and that the Guatemalan government would acquiesce in her torture. Finally, the court held that the BIA did not abuse its discretion in denying petitioner's motion to reopen. View "Luna-Garcia De Garcia v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's order denying petitioner and his family members relief from removal. The court held that substantial evidence supported the BIA's denial of petitioner's application for asylum where, although petitioner had suffered past persecution for his religion and political opinion, DHS rebutted the presumption of future persecution by showing that the circumstances have fundamentally changed. In this case, by showing that harm based on religious views and political activism turned into mere harm based on extortion, DHS sufficiently showed that the circumstances have fundamentally changed and that petitioner and his family no longer have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of petitioner's political opinion. The court rejected petitioner's remaining claims. View "Singh v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's dismissal of petitioner's appeal of the denial of his motion to reopen his immigration proceedings. Because petitioner's in absentia proceedings occurred in 1993, the court applied the notice requirements set forth in 8 U.S.C. 1252b. Applying the traditional tools of interpretation to section 1252b(a)(1)(F)(i), the court held that an alien must provide a U.S. address for receiving written notice regarding his deportation proceedings. In this case, petitioner failed to provide an address to the immigration court and thus the BIA did not abuse its discretion in dismissing his appeal. View "Ramos-Portillo v. Barr" 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 removal proceedings. Petitioner alleged that she never received a notice of hearing. The court held that the BIA did not abuse its discretion by determining that petitioner failed to rebut the presumption of receipt of effective service. In this case, the BIA reached a final determination based on the totality of the circumstances where various circumstances -- including no non-deliverable return, no prior affirmative applications for relief, and lack of due diligence -- weighed in favor of the presumption of receipt. View "Navarrete-Lopez v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's denial of petitioner's application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The court held that substantial evidence supported the BIA's determination that petitioner did not suffer past persecution because his previous mistreatment from an Ayr customer did not rise to the level of persecution; petitioner failed to prove a well-founded fear of future persecution because he could not establish that others would persecute him or that there was a pattern or practice of targeting people like him; petitioner was not entitled to CAT relief because he failed to prove it was more likely than not government actors would torture him in Somalia; the BIA did not abuse its discretion by denying petitioner's motion to reopen his removal proceedings; and the BIA did not abuse its discretion by denying petitioner's motion to reconsider. View "Qorane v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's final order of removal determining that petitioner was ineligible for cancellation of removal because his 2007 conviction of attempted theft from a person under Texas law counts as a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) under a 2016 BIA decision. The court exercised its discretion to consider petitioner's claim and determined that it had jurisdiction to consider it. On the merits, the court held that the definition of CIMTs announced in In re Diaz-Lizarraga, 26 I. & N. Dec. 847, 848 (BIA 2016), may be applied only to crimes committed after that decision issued. Therefore, the BIA erred in retroactively applying Diaz-Lizarraga's new definition to petitioner's conviction for attempted theft. The court remanded for further proceedings. View "Monteon-Camargo v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit vacated the BIA's final order denying petitioner's motion to reopen removal proceedings. Petitioner claimed that she never received notice of her removal hearing. The court held that the BIA abused its discretion in refusing to reopen petitioner's removal proceedings where petitioner satisfied her obligation to provide a new address to the "Attorney General" by notifying ICE of her change of address. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Fuentes-Pena v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit denied a petition for review of the the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's determination that petitioner was removable because she was convicted of a drug offense. Petitioner argued that she was not removable because she was convicted for possessing a small amount of marijuana for personal use. The court held that the BIA's interpretation of 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(B)(i)'s personal-use exception was reasonable. Applying the BIA's circumstances-specific approach, the court held that petitioner's conviction did not fall within the personal-use exception. In this case, substantial evidence supported the BIA's findings that petitioner possessed 54.6 pounds of marijuana—substantially more than the personal-use exception’s 30-gram threshold. View "Cardoso de Flores v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of Honduras, sought review of the BIA's decision denying his motion to reopen his removal proceedings so that he could apply for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The Fifth Circuit held that the BIA acted within its discretion in declining to reopen petitioner's in absentia removal proceedings based on lack of notice. The court did not reach the merits of petitioner's claim contending that the BIA abused its discretion denying his motion to reopen because the court lacked jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. 1231(a)(5), over this question of fact. The court also held that petitioner's contention that the BIA violated his due process rights was unavailing, because this court has held that no liberty interest existed in a motion to reopen, and therefore due process claims were not cognizable in the context of reopening proceedings. The court rejected petitioner's remaining claims and dismissed the petition in part and denied it in part. View "Mejia v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision denying petitioner's application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The court affirmed the BIA's adverse credibility determination and held that it was supported by substantial evidence. In this case, the BIA catalogued numerous, specific inconsistencies in petitioner's presentation, and it identified crucial omissions in statements submitted by petitioner and in third parties' supporting affidavits. Furthermore, given the reiterative content of documents and the BIA's extensive credibility assessment, the BIA did not fail to give full and fair consideration of all circumstances that gave rise to petitioner's claims. View "Ghotra v. Whitaker" on Justia Law