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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

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Yafai and Ahmed were born, raised, and married in Yemen. Yafai became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2001 and successfully filed I‐130 petitions on behalf of his wife and several of their children. Ahmed and her children subsequently applied for visas. The consular officer denied Ahmed’s visa application, citing 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(E), which provides that “[a]ny alien who at any time knowingly has encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided any other alien to enter or to try to enter the United States in violation of law is inadmissible.” The denial stated that she attempted to smuggle two children into the U.S. using the identities Yaqub and Khaled. Yafai and Ahmed apparently argued that Ahmed could not be guilty of smuggling, because the children whom she had allegedly smuggled were deceased. Ahmed provided: vaccination records, Khaled’s school records, hospital bills, hospital birth records, the police report from the drowning accident, Khaled’s passport, and family photos. An embassy fraud prevention manager found the their testimony not credible and initiated an investigation. Several months later, the consular officer reaffirmed the prior visa denial. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a suit by Yafai and Ahment. The decision is facially legitimate and bona fide, so the doctrine of consular nonreviewability applies. View "Yafai v. Pompeo" on Justia Law

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Ku, a citizen of Taiwan, was admitted to the U.S. in 1997 and became a lawful permanent resident in 2002. In 2014, Ku was charged with a single count of wire fraud. Ku waived her right to an indictment and was charged by information, which alleged that Ku was managing the finances of her in-laws and defrauded her in-laws by making personal use of their accounts. The BIA determined that Ku had committed an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43)(M)(i) because that prior conviction constituted an offense involving fraud or deceit in which the loss to the victims exceeded $10,000 and that the conviction constituted a “crime involving moral turpitude” under 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) such that, without a waiver, she is ineligible for an adjustment of status. The BIA reversed the Immigration Judge, who had granted Ku a waiver of inadmissibility under 8 U.S.C. 1182(h)(1)(B) based on the extreme hardship that her deportation would cause her U.S.-citizen children. The Third Circuit rejected Ku’s petition for review. The loss to the victims, over $10,000, was sufficiently tethered to Ku’s conviction that the conviction qualifies as an aggravated felony; wire fraud constitutes a crime of moral turpitude. The court noted that it lacked jurisdiction to review the discretionary waiver of admissibility. View "Ku v. Attorney General United States" on Justia Law

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United States Border Patrol agents found Defendant-appellant John Hargrove, his girlfriend Janelle Richter, and Edgar Silvas-Hinojos in the desert near the border between Arizona and New Mexico. They were all in Hargrove’s truck, along with nearly 300 pounds of marijuana and two firearms. Hargrove was charged with: (1) conspiracy to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana; and (2) possession with the intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana, and aiding and abetting said possession. Hargrove was convicted by jury on both charges and sentenced to sixty months’ imprisonment. On appeal, Hargrove argued: (1) the district court erred in failing to grant him a mistrial after the prosecutor elicited testimony that the district court had previously barred; and (2) the district court erred in failing to grant him safety-valve relief under section 5C1.2 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Finding no reversible error, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court in all respects. View "United States v. Hargrove" on Justia Law

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Beltran-Aguilar, a citizen of Mexico, applied for cancellation of removal. The BIA affirmed the denial of his application. The Seventh Circuit denied a petition for review. Beltran-Aguilar’s conviction for Wisconsin battery involving domestic abuse was a crime of domestic violence, rendering him ineligible for cancellation of removal under 8 U.S.C. 1229b(b)(1)(C). A “crime of violence” is “an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another,” 18 U.S.C. 16(a). The elements of the crime for which a defendant was convicted, not his underlying conduct, are determinative. Beltran-Aguilar was convicted under Wisconsin Statute 940.19(1), which prohibits “caus[ing] bodily harm to another by an act done with intent to cause bodily harm to that person or another without the consent of the person so harmed.” “Bodily harm” means “physical pain or injury, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.” Rejecting an argument that certain types of non-qualifying conduct theoretically might be prosecuted under the statute, the court stated that there must be “a realistic probability, not a theoretical possibility," that the state would prosecute conduct that falls outside the generic definition of a crime. Beltran-Aguilar has not identified any case in which Wisconsin’s definition of “bodily harm” has been applied in a way that does not accord with precedent defining crimes of violence. View "Beltran-Aguilar v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

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The Eighth 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. Petitioner, a native and citizen of Cameroon, claimed that he was persecuted on account of his political opinion based on his membership in the Southern Cameroon National Council. The court held that there was no basis for granting the petition for review where the undisputed harm petitioner claimed to have suffered did not rise to the level of persecution; petitioner lacked a well-founded fear of future persecution; and petitioner could not meet the more rigorous burdens for CAT relief. View "Njong v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit filed 1) an order granting a petition for panel rehearing, amending the opinion filed on September 14, 2017, which was previously withdrawn, and denying a petition for rehearing en banc; and 2) an amended opinion denying a petition for review of the BIA's decision. In the amended opinion, the panel held that petitioner's conviction for class one misdemeanor domestic violence assault under Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1203 and 13-3601 was a crime of domestic violence under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(E) that rendered him removable. The panel held that the statute was divisible and, under the modified categorical approach, there was a sufficient factual basis to support that petitioner intentionally or knowingly caused any physical injury to another person. Furthermore, the domestic relationships enumerated under Arizona's domestic violence provision, Arizona Revised Statutes 3-3601(A), were coextensive with the domestic relationships described in section 1227(a)(2)(E)(i). Therefore, petitioner's misdemeanor domestic violence conviction was a crime of domestic violence under section 1227(a)(2)(E), and he was removeable. View "Cornejo-Villagrana v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

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Petitioners, Iraqi nationals, were ordered removed years ago because of criminal offenses they committed in the U.S. Iraq refused to repatriate them, so Petitioners remained under orders of supervision by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In 2017, Iraq began to cooperate and removal of Iraqi nationals resumed. In April 2017 ICE conducted a removal by charter flight to Iraq, scheduling a second charter for June and arresting more than 200 Iraqi nationals. Iraq declined to issue requisite travel documents and would accept only Iraqi nationals who had unexpired passports and were returning on commercial flights. Petitioners filed a putative class action habeas petition on behalf of all Iraqi nationals with final orders of removal, who have been, or will be, arrested and detained as a result of Iraq’s recent decision,” seeking a TRO or stay of removal, pending arguments on allegedly changed country conditions. Under 8 U.S.C. 1252(g), immigration courts hold exclusive jurisdiction over removal proceedings. The district court stayed the final removal orders and concluded that it had jurisdiction to hear Petitioners’ claims as an as-applied constitutional violation of the Suspension Clause. The Sixth Circuit vacated. The district court lacked the jurisdiction. Rejecting Petitioners’ argument the petition-for-review process is constitutionally inadequate as an alternative to habeas review, the court noted that Petitioners had years to file motions to reopen and the administrative scheme provides multiple avenues to stay removal while pursuing relief. The court was not merely interpreting a statute: it “created out of thin air a requirement for bond hearings that does not exist in the statute; and adopted new standards that the government must meet.” View "Hamama v. Adducci" on Justia Law

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Hosseini fled Iran and obtained asylum in the U.S. in 1999. He later unsuccessfully applied to adjust his legal status to become a lawful permanent resident. The government concluded that Hosseini provided material support to Iranian terrorist organizations, rendering him inadmissible under 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(iv)(VI)(dd), by copying and distribution of flyers from organizations, including Mujahadin-e Khalq (MeK) and Fadain-e Khalq (FeK). Hosseini insists that the flyers alerted Iranians to the new regime’s human rights abuses, including its crackdown on women, students, workers, and civil dissidents. The Sixth Circuit affirmed that determination. Hosseini did not demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he “did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization.” The government described a 1981 terrorist attack, during which MeK detonated bombs in the Islamic Republic party’s head office that killed “some seventy high-ranking Iranian officials. Given Hosseini’s acknowledgment that he “eagerly sought out information about various political viewpoints” after the 1979 revolution, it seems implausible that he was unaware of this attack and the organization that perpetrated it. While Hosseini left MeK voluntarily and did not engage in violent terrorism, Hosseini was not a minor during his six-year involvement with the groups; he admitted hearing rumors that MeK was engaged in terrorist activity. His support was relevant in introducing Iranians to the organizations and significant: the nonviolent flyers gave legitimacy to MeK and FeK although they were engaged in terrorism. View "Hosseini v. Nielsen" on Justia Law

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Retroactivity analysis under Montgomery Ward & Co., Inc. v. FTC, 691 F.2d 1322 (9th Cir. 1982), is only applicable when an agency consciously overrules or otherwise alters its own rule or regulation, or expressly considers and openly departs from a circuit court decision. The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision finding petitioner removable because he committed two crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT) when he was convicted of felony endangerment under Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1201 and facilitation to commit unlawful possession of marijuana for sale. Applying Montgomery Ward to this case, the panel held that there was no change in law raising retroactivity concerns. Therefore, the BIA did not err by applying Leal I, In re Leal, 26 I. & N. Dec. 20 (B.I.A. 2012), to conclude that Arizona endangerment is a CIMT. Finally, the panel rejected petitioner's claim regarding Leal II, claims under In re Silva-Trevino, 24 I. & N. 687 (A.G. 2008), preclusion claims, and an 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(ii) claim. View "Olivas-Motta v. Whitaker" on Justia Law