Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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The Ninth Circuit granted the petition for review of the BIA's decision concluding that petitioner was ineligible for cancellation of removal because his conviction for petit theft in Idaho was a crime involving moral turpitude. The panel held that the record of conviction was inadequate to determine whether petitioner was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude because the record did not identify any particular statute of conviction and Idaho's petit theft statute was overbroad under the categorical approach. Under the modified categorical approach, the record contained insufficient information to determine whether petitioner was convicted under one of the Idaho petit theft provisions meeting the generic federal offense. The panel also held that the BIA erred by deciding at Chevron step one that an "offense under" 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(i) did not include the within-five-years element. The panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Lozano-Arredondo v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit filed an amended opinion granting the petition for review of the BIA's decision finding him ineligible for cancellation of removal based on his conviction for delivery of a controlled substance under Oregon Revised Statutes 475.992(1)(a). The panel held that because the Controlled Substances Act does not punish soliciting delivery of controlled substances, section 475.992(1)(a) could not be a categorical match to an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii). Furthermore, because section 475.992(1)(a) was indivisible, the modified categorical approach does not apply. The panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Sandoval v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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DLS petitioned for review of the ALJ's decision finding DLS liable for numerous violations of sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1324a(b), which requires employers to verify that their employees are legally authorized to work in the United States. The ALJ also ordered DLS to pay civil money penalties. In regard to the ALJ's finding that DLS was liable for section 504 violations, the panel held that one charge was untimely under the applicable statute of limitations, so that violation could not stand. The panel denied the petition for review as to the ALJ's finding of the other 503 violations because DLS was not entitled to good faith defenses, and as to the ALJ's determination of the penalty amount. View "DLS Precision Fab LLC v. ICE" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit adopted the persuasive reasoning of the Second Circuit and held that the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UN-CATOC) does not provide an independent basis for relief from removal in immigration proceedings. In this case, the panel denied the petition for review of the BIA's denial of withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The panel held that the BIA did not err in concluding that petitioner was not persecuted on account of his political opinion, whistleblower status, nor his membership in a particular social group of former police officers. Rather, petitioner's attackers told him that he was being attacked because of his role in a drug-trafficking investigation. The panel also held that, because the UN-CATOC has not been implemented through congressional legislation and was not self-executing as to the relief sought here, petitioner may not rely on its provisions for relief from removal. View "Sanjaa v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's dismissal for lack of jurisdiction an appeal of an IJ's negative reasonable fear determination in reinstatement removal proceedings. The panel found that the final administrative order was the BIA's dismissal of petitioner's appeal and thus petitioner timely filed his petition for review within 30 day's of the BIA's decision. The panel also held that the government waived any challenge to the arguments raised by petitioner because the government did not offer any argument on the merits of this petition. Accordingly, the court remanded for further consideration. View "Valencia Martinez v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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Descamps v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2276 (2013), and Mathis v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2243 (2016), did not impliedly abrogate the analytical approach and conclusion in United States v. Becerril-Lopez, 541 F.3d 881 (9th Cir. 2008). The Ninth Circuit affirmed defendant's 57 month sentence after the district court applied a 16-level enhancement based on the ground that defendant's prior conviction for robbery under California Penal Code 211 was categorically a crime of violence. The panel held that, even assuming the district court's failure to accept defendant's guilty plea expressly was error, it provided no ground for reversing his conviction or sentence. The panel also held that the district court properly relied on Becerril-Lopez to impose a 16-level sentencing enhancement in this case. View "United States v. Chavez-Cuevas" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of habeas relief, in which plaintiff sought a custody redetermination as he awaits the outcome of administrative proceedings to determine whether he has a reasonable fear of returning to his native country of El Salvador. The panel held that, because plaintiff's reinstated removal order remains administratively final, he was detained pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1231(a); section 1226(a) has no application in this case; and thus plaintiff was not entitled to a bond hearing. View "Padilla-Ramirez v. Bible" on Justia Law

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By enacting the Homeland Security Act (HSA) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), Congress did not terminate Paragraph 24A of the Flores Settlement with respect to bond hearings for unaccompanied minors. This appeal stemmed from a settlement agreement between the plaintiff class and the federal government that established a nationwide policy for the detention, release, and treatment of minors in the custody of the INS. Paragraph 24A of the Flores Agreement provides that a "minor in deportation proceedings shall be afforded a bond redetermination hearing before an immigration judge." The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of plaintiffs' motion to enforce the Flores Agreement, holding that nothing in the text, structure, or purpose of the HSA or TVPRA renders continued compliance with Paragraph 24A, as it applies to unaccompanied minors, "impermissible." View "Flores v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's denial of asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The panel held that substantial evidence supported the IJ's adverse credibility finding where the IJ determined that petitioner gave equivocal testimony about the reasons for errors in marriage records; petitioner's testimony regarding the critical events underlying her claims for relief were very vague; and the documents submitted by petitioner did not adequately corroborate her testimony. Furthermore, the IJ had no obligation to give petitioner an additional opportunity to bolster her case by submitting further evidence. View "Yali Wang v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for panel rehearing, withdrew its memorandum disposition filed December 14, 2016, denied a petition for rehearing en banc as moot, and filed this opinion reversing defendant's conviction for illegal reentry. After defendant was convicted of conspiracy to export defense articles without a license and was removed from the United States, he returned and was convicted of illegal reentry. The panel held that defendant was not originally removable as charged, and so could not be convicted of illegal reentry. In this case, because the statute was overbroad and indivisible, defendant's conviction under 22 U.S.C. 2778 could not serve as a proper predicate for removal—either as an aggravated felony or a firearms offense. Accordingly, the court remanded with instructions to dismiss the indictment. View "United States v. Ochoa" on Justia Law