Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

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The Fourth Circuit granted the petition for review of the BIA's decision ordering petitioner removed to her native El Salvador. The court held that petitioner credibly testified by affidavit that MS-13 threatened and extorted her after her father left El Salvador; MS-13 threatened to kill her children if she did not meet the gang's demands; and she felt terrorized by the threats and fears for her safety and the safety of her children. The court also held that petitioner was persecuted on account of her family membership. Because the BIA did not reach the issue of whether the Salvadoran government was either unwilling or unable to control the gang members who threatened the family, the court remanded for the BIA to consider this factual issue in the first instance. The court vacated the BIA's order denying withholding of removal and remanded. View "Zavaleta-Policiano v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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Petitioner sought review of the BIA's order finding him both removable and inadmissible on the basis of his North Carolina deferred prosecution agreement for soliciting a child by computer to commit a sex act. The Fourth Circuit denied the petition for review, holding that the BIA properly found petitioner removable and inadmissible for being convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. In this case, petitioner's deferred prosecution agreement was a "conviction" under the Immigration and Nationality Act; the phrase "crime involving moral turpitude" was not void for vagueness in the removability and admissibility contexts; and, even if petitioner's crime was not considered "violent or dangerous," his application would still be denied. View "Boggala v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Fourth Circuit affirmed the denial of petitioner's application for asylum after an IJ granted her application for withholding of removal. The court held that the interplay between 8 U.S.C. 1231(a)(5) and 1158 was unambiguous: Congress intended that aliens subject to reinstated orders of removal be precluded from applying for asylum. Furthermore, barring illegal reentrants from applying for asylum did not violate international law. The court also held that, because the petition was not timely filed as to the underlying order of removal, the court lacked jurisdiction to address petitioner's objections to the June 2015 hearing. View "Calla Mejia v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Fourth Circuit denied the petition for review of the denial of petitioner's application for asylum and withholding of removal. The court held that substantial evidence in the record supported the IJ's factual conclusion that petitioner's case was solely one of personal conflict among family members. In this case, petitioner and her son had fled Honduras based on threats from her mother-in-law. Therefore, petitioner did not meet her burden of showing persecution "on account of" a protected ground. View "Velasquez v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a citizen and native of Mexico, petitioned for review of the BIA's order affirming the IJ's decision finding him ineligible for cancellation of removal under 8 U.S.C. 1229b(b)(1)(C). The Fourth Circuit denied the petition for review, holding that petitioner's 2005 criminal proceedings under Virginia Code 18.2-251 for possession of cocaine constituted a "conviction" as defined within the plain text of 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(48)(A). In this case, both statutory elements of a conviction were satisfied and thus the BIA did not err in upholding the IJ's decision. View "Payan Jaquez v. Sessions" on Justia Law