Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's denial of petitioner's motion to suppress evidence. In this case, petitioner was on a fishing trip with friends when his boat lost power. When Coast Guard officers arrived to tow the boat, they detained petitioner and subsequently placed him in removal proceedings. The panel held that petitioner made a prima facie showing that the Coast Guard officers who detained him violated 8 C.F.R. 287.8(b)(2), which requires that an immigration officer have reasonable suspicion, based on specific articulable facts that a person is, or is attempting to be, engaged in an offense against the United States, or is an alien illegally in the United States, in order for the immigration officer to briefly detain the person for questioning. In this case petitioner was detained solely on the basis of his race and his detention was contrary to the requirements of section 287.8(b)(2). Furthermore, the violation alleged by petitioner was egregious both for its grotesque nature and its patent unlawfulness. View "Sanchez v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of an IJ's decision affirming an asylum officer's negative reasonable fear determination in reinstatement removal proceedings. Petitioner asserted that he was deprived his due process rights and a fair hearing before the asylum officer, because he was provided a Spanish-language interpreter rather than an interpreter in his native language Chuj. The panel rejected this claim and held that petitioner had indicated he understood "a lot" of Spanish and consented to proceeding in Spanish. Furthermore, petitioner had an opportunity to correct any errors or submit additional evidence on review. The panel also rejected petitioner's due process claims related to his reasonable fear review hearing. However, the panel granted the petition for review of the IJ's decision rejecting for lack of jurisdiction petitioner's motion to reopen reasonable fear proceedings. In this case, the IJ abused its discretion when he failed to recognize that he had at least sua sponte jurisdiction to reopen proceedings. Accordingly, the panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Bartolome v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's order of removal. The panel held that petitioner was not removable under 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(C)(ii)(I), as an alien who made a false claim of citizenship to obtain private employment, because there was no basis in the record to conclude that he represented himself as a citizen on a Form I–9. In this case, there was nothing in the record showing that petitioner ever filled out a Form I-9 and thus nothing in the record to show that he made a false representation of citizenship. The panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Diaz-Jimenez v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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Where a state statute contains two layers of disjunctive lists, the analysis outlined in Taylor v. United States, 495 U.S. 575 (1990), for applying the categorical approach, applies to both layers of the statute and must be performed twice. A methamphetamine conviction under California Health & Safety Code 11378 or 11379(a) does not qualify as a controlled substance offense under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(B)(i). The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's order finding petitioner removable for a controlled substance offense. The panel held that the California definition of methamphetamine was broader than the federal definition. The panel also held that the methamphetamine element applicable to a conviction under sections 11378 or 11379(a) was not divisible, because the different varieties of methamphetamine covered by California law were alternative means of committing a single crime rather than alternative elements of separate crimes. Therefore, the panel did not apply the modified categorical approach. View "Atenia Lorenzo v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's order denying asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). Petitioner sought relief after he and his family were the victims of threats, home invasions, beatings, and killings at the hands of Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional guerillas. The panel held that petitioner was eligible for asylum and entitled to withholding of removal. In this case, the record compelled a finding of past persecution, and substantial evidence did not support the agency's determination that the government successfully rebutted the presumption of future persecution. The panel applied the pre-REAL ID Act standards and held that the harm petitioner suffered had a nexus to a protected ground because the guerillas were motivated by his family's government and military service. The panel also held that the BIA erred as a matter of law in denying petitioner's application for CAT relief. The panel remanded for reconsideration of the CAT claim. View "Quiroz Parada v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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California's receipt of stolen property offense is a categorical match for the generic federal crime of receipt of stolen property. The Ninth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for attempting to reenter the United States after being deported, holding that defendant's prior California conviction for receipt of stolen property was a felony theft offense that was an aggravated felony under the Immigration and Naturalization Act. The panel also held that the district court properly denied defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment and rejected defendant's remaining claims. View "United States v. Flores" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision finding petitioner ineligible for cancellation of removal and voluntary departure. The panel held that petitioner's convictions for indecent exposure under Wash. Rev. Code 9A.88.010(1) and under Wash. Rev. Code 9A.88.010(2)(b) are not categorically crimes involving moral turpitude. Furthermore, both statutes were indivisible and thus the modified categorical approach was inapplicable. In the absence of a conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude, petitioner was eligible to apply for cancellation of removal and voluntary departure. The panel remanded for the BIA to consider anew petitioner's request for cancellation of removal and voluntary departure. View "Barrera-Lima v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision finding petitioner ineligible for cancellation of removal. Under the plain text of the stop-time rule, the panel held that petitioner was not rendered inadmissible by his possession of cocaine because, as a lawful permanent resident, he was not subject to the grounds of inadmissibility. Therefore, petitioner was eligible to apply for cancellation of removal. The panel acknowledged that its conclusion parted ways with the Fifth Circuit in Calix v. Lynch, 784 F.3d 1000 (5th Cir. 2015). The panel remanded for the BIA to consider petitioner's application of cancellation of removal on the merits. View "Vu Minh Nguyen v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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A conviction for assault with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury under California Penal Code 245(a)(1), as it was written prior to its amendment in 2011, qualifies as a conviction for a crime of violence within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 16(a). The Ninth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for illegal reentry and rejected his collateral attacks on his removal. The panel held that defendant's prior California conviction under section 245(a)(1) required an intentional use of force and was thus a crime of violence. The panel also held that, although the failure to inform defendant that his eligibility for relief could serve as a basis to collaterally attack a removal order, it was not plausible that he would have been granted relief at the time of his removal in this case. View "United States v. Vasquez-Gonzalez" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's order of deportation after petitioner was convicted of possession for sale of cocaine salt. The panel held that petitioner was deportable as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii); petitioner's conviction remained a valid ground of deportation despite its expungement under California Penal Code 1203.4; petitioner was not eligible for waiver of deportation under section 212(c); and the BIA did not err in denying deferral of deportation under the Convention Against Torture. View "Lopez v. Sessions" on Justia Law