Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

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The Second Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by an alien who is illegally unlawfully in the United States. The court held that the "in the United States" element of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(A) requires only that a noncitizen be physically present within the United States. The court rejected defendant's argument that a defendant must have "entered" the country as a matter of immigration law. The court also held that, in light of defendant's immigration status at the time of the conduct underlying his arrest, he was unlawfully present in the United States. The court rejected defendant's argument that he was not present "illegally or unlawfully" because he was effectively paroled into the country when he was released from detention in 2007. View "United States v. Balde" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, formerly civil immigration detainees treated for serious mental illnesses, filed a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action against the county and others, alleging that the failure to engage in discharge planning or to provide them with discharge plans upon release violated their substantive due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Second Circuit vacated the district court's grant of defendants' motion to dismiss. The court held that plaintiffs have adequately stated a Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process claim, because they plausibly alleged that they had serious medical needs requiring discharge planning and that defendants' failure to provide discharge planning to plaintiffs constituted deliberate indifference. Accordingly, the court remanded for further fact finding and further proceedings. View "Charles v. Orange County" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's order of removal based on petitioner's conviction for an aggravated felony. The court held that petitioner's conviction for conspiracy in the second degree to commit a felony -- murder in the second degree in this case -- under New York law was an aggravated felony. The court applied the categorical approach and held that second degree murder is clearly an aggravated felony within the federal definition. View "Santana-Felix v. Barr" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of Ghana, sought review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's order of removal based on petitioner's prior Connecticut conviction for third‐degree burglary, which the BIA determined was a crime of violence as defined in 18 U.S.C. 16(b). The Supreme Court subsequently decided Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204 (2018), which found that section 16(b) was unconstitutionally vague and void. The Second Circuit held that the Supreme Court's holding in Dimaya made it clear that petitioner was no longer subject to removal proceedings and granted the petition for review, vacating the order of removal and terminating removal proceedings. View "Genego v. Barr" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, an alien subject to a final order of removal, together with several immigration‐policy advocacy organizations, appealed the district court's interlocutory order denying their motion for a preliminary injunction and dismissing some of their claims. Plaintiff sought to enjoin his imminent deportation on the basis of evidence that Government officials targeted him for deportation because of his public speech that was critical of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. immigration policy. The Second Circuit vacated the district court's order and held that plaintiff stated a cognizable constitutional claim where the court's prior precedent did not foreclose the claim and where plaintiff's claim involved outrageous conduct. In this case, plaintiff's speech implicated the highest position in the hierarchy of First Amendment protection; the Government's alleged retaliation was egregious; plaintiff has a substantial interest in avoiding selective deportation; and the Government's interest in having unchallenged discretion to deport plaintiff was less substantial. The court also held that, although Congress intended to strip all courts of jurisdiction over plaintiff's claim, the Suspension Clause of the Constitution requires the availability of a habeas corpus proceeding in light of 8 U.S.C. 1252(g). Therefore the district court had jurisdiction over plaintiff's claim and the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Ragbir v. Homan" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's finding that petitioner was removable and denying his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The court held that no remand was necessary to determine that petitioner's conviction for Connecticut first‐degree assault constitutes an "aggravated felony," as it fits within the definition of “crime of violence" in 18 U.S.C. 16(a). The court held that there were no constitutional errors or errors of law and rejected petitioner's contention that Pereira v. Sessions, 138 S. Ct. 2105 (2018), is properly read to mean that the Immigration Court that ordered his removal lacked jurisdiction because the Notice to Appear that was served on him failed to specify the time or date of hearing, even though a Notice of Hearing containing the requisite information subsequently issued. View "Gomez v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's order of removal. The court held that petitioner's conviction for conspiracy to commit money laundering under 18 U.S.C. 1956(h) is an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43)(D). The court also held that the IJ's reliance on the forfeiture order was appropriate, and the IJ did not commit clear error in finding that the government established that petitioner laundered more than $10,000 by clear and convincing evidence. View "Barikyan v. Barr" on Justia Law

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Petitioner sought review of the BIA's decision affirming his order of removal and an IJ's denial of waiver of the joint filing requirement to remove the conditions on his permanent resident status on the grounds that his marriage had not been entered in good faith. The Second Circuit held that, although the underlying factual findings were subject to clear error review, whether the evidence satisfied a petitioner's burden to prove entitlement to a good faith marriage waiver was a mixed question of law and fact subject to de novo review. Therefore, the court remanded in part because the BIA applied only clear error review. Petitioner also sought review of the denial of his motion to reopen and reconsider. The court held that petitioner's argument was abandoned because he failed to assert a meaningful challenge to the BIA's denial of reopening and reconsideration. Therefore, the court denied in part. View "Alom v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's order of removal because petitioner had derivative citizenship from his citizen father. The court held that the temporary physical separation caused by petitioner's time in federal pretrial juvenile detention did not strip petitioner's father of his "physical custody" of petitioner as that term is used in 8 U.S.C. 1431(a), and therefore petitioner is a U.S. citizen. The court explained that the statutory context and history of the derivative citizenship statute indicate that the "physical custody" requirement ensures that the legal permanent resident child, such as petitioner, has a strong connection to the naturalizing parent and to the United States at the time the child becomes eligible for derivative citizenship. Furthermore, the applicable canons of statutory interpretation also favored construing the term "physical custody" so that such custody does not terminate upon a brief, temporary separation from a parent; and the distinctive nature of federal pretrial juvenile detention—which encourages continued family involvement with the child during such detention—further supports the conclusion that petitioner's father retained "physical custody" over him. View "Khalid v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision ordering petitioner removed under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(1)(B) and 1227(a)(2)(B)(i). The court held that petitioner acquired United States citizenship at birth through his United States citizen parent, Jorge Boreland, the husband of his mother and his legal parent under the relevant section of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The court noted that the principle guiding this decision—that a child born into a legal marriage is presumed to be the child of the marriage—is a lasting one, with deep roots in the common law. View "Jaen v. Sessions" on Justia Law