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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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The Eighth Circuit denied a petition for review of the denial of petitioner's application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The court held that the IJ's credibility finding was rooted in numerous inconsistencies between petitioner's testimony and the record, the implausibility of certain events, and a lack of corroborating evidence. Therefore, substantial evidence supported the denial of asylum. Because withholding of removal and CAT claims were based on the same discredited testimony, these claims also failed. View "Kegeh v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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In 2012, Vikash, a U.S. citizen born in Fiji, married Ashlyne, a citizen of Fiji, in Fiji in an arranged marriage. Vikash filed an immigration visa petition on Ashlyne's behalf, which was approved, and submitted an I–864 affidavit of support, under which the sponsor agrees to “[p]rovide the intending immigrant any support necessary to maintain ... an income that is at least 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines ... that person may sue you for this support.” According to Ashlyne, Vikash abused her and “tricked” Ashlyne into going to Fiji in 2013, where he abandoned her. Her legal permanent resident stamp was torn out of her passport. Ashlyn obtained temporary documents from the U.S. Embassy and returned to the U.S. Vikash sought an annulment. Ashlyne indicated she had applied for government assistance and argued that by signing the I–864 affidavit, Vikash agreed to support her for 10 years. The court awarded temporary support and ordered Ashlyne to make efforts to get the necessary paperwork "to work in this country if she is intending on remaining.” The court later terminated support and denied Ashlyne’s request to enforce the I–864 because Ashlyne was “not using best efforts to find work.” The court of appeal reversed. An immigrant spouse has standing to enforce the I-864 support obligation in state court and has no duty to mitigate damages. View "In re: Marriage of Kumar" on Justia Law

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Azcona-Polanco, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, was admitted to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident in 1972. In 1994, he was ordered removed based upon a conviction for heroin distribution but never left the country. In 1997, Azcona-Polanco was convicted of conspiracy to violate federal narcotics laws and sentenced to 168 months’ incarceration. He was deported in 2009, after his incarceration, but re-entered illegally and assumed an alias, having purchased a citizen’s birth certificate and Social Security card. Azcona-Polanco was arrested and pled guilty to illegal reentry, 8 U.S.C. 1326(a); (b)(2). His sentencing range was 41-51 months. The Guideline range for a term of supervised release was one to three years, with a maximum of three years, 18 U.S.C. 3583(b)(2). Azcona-Polanco was presumptively exempt from supervised release as a deportable immigrant, U.S.S.G. 5D1.1(c). The Presentence Investigation Report and sentencing memorandum noted that presumption. The court sentenced Azcona-Polanco to 41 months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release, stating, “in case he does illegally reenter the United States he must report in person to Probation.” Azcona-Polanco did not object to the imposition of supervised release. The Third Circuit affirmed. A district court is permitted to impose a term of supervised release on a deportable immigrant “if the court determines it would provide an added measure of deterrence and protection based on the facts and circumstances of a particular case.” View "United States v. Azcona-Polanco" on Justia Law

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Petitioner challenged the BIA's dismissal of his appeal challenging the IJ's conclusion that he was a non-citizen convicted of drug offenses that made him inadmissible to the United States. Petitioner also challenged the denial of his motion to reopen the proceedings. The Second Circuit denied the consolidated petitions for review, holding that the BIA correctly concluded that the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-546, overruled the Fleuti doctrine. In this case, the BIA correctly concluded that petitioner was properly treated as seeking admission when he arrived in the United States in 2015. The court also held that the stop-time rule prevented petitioner from accruing seven years of continuous residency in the United States. View "Heredia v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner’s petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) denial of his untimely motion to reopen removal proceedings based on changed conditions. Petitioner, a Mexican national, conceded a charge of removability under 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(A)(i) but denied the charges. Petitioner later applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. An immigration judge denied the petition. The BIA denied Petitioner’s appeal. More than three years later, Petitioner moved to reopen removal proceedings, arguing that his petition to reopen should be granted because the conditions in his home country had deteriorated and intensified. The BIA denied Petitioner’s motion to reopen. The First Circuit concluded that the BIA properly exercised its discretion and found that Petitioner failed to demonstrate changed conditions. View "Sanchez-Romero v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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In 2004, Privett pleaded guilty to sexual battery. Nine years later, Privett married a foreign citizen and filed Form I-130 to establish her qualification for a visa and eventually a Green Card. USCIS sent Notice of Intent to Deny and requested additional evidence that Privett was not convicted of a “specified offense against a minor” and to “demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that [he] pose[d] no risk to the safety and wellbeing of” his wife. Under the Adam Walsh Act (AWA), 8 U.S.C. 1154(a)(1)(A)(viii)(I) the request of a citizen convicted of a specified offense against a minor may be denied. Privett provided a transcript of his plea hearing. USCIS rejected his petition. The district court dismissed Privett's claims for lack of jurisdiction to review a decision of the Secretary of Homeland Security “the authority for which is specified under this subchapter to be in the discretion of the . . . Secretary of Homeland Security,” 8 U.S.C. 1252(a)(2)(B). The Sixth Circuit reversed in part. Certain predicate legal issues that determine the bounds of a discretionary decision remain within the jurisdiction of the courts. Privett’s challenge to whether his crime is a specified offense against a minor is such a predicate legal issue. Privett’s challenge to USCIS’s beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard is directed at the Secretary’s discretion and beyond judicial review. View "Privett v. Secretary, Department of Homeland Security" on Justia Law

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Orellana‐Arias, a citizen of El Salvador, was detained as he entered the United States in 2013. He had previously entered illegally and been removed in 2001 and had entered and worked undetected from 2007-2011. Orellana‐Arias testified that after returning to El Salvador, he was assaulted and extorted by gang members and that the police were unable or unwilling to protect him from future harm by gang members. While Orellana‐Arias was in custody in the U.S., gang members twice approached his wife, asking his whereabouts. An asylum officer determined that Orellana‐Arias did not have a reasonable fear of persecution or torture but an immigration judge disagreed. Orellana‐Arias sought withholding of removal and Convention Against Torture protection. An IJ found that Orellana‐Arias credible, but that he had not demonstrated that the mistreatment rose to the level of past persecution as opposed to mere harassment; that the risk of future mistreatment was too speculative to constitute a clear probability of future persecution; and that Orellana‐Arias did not establish a nexus between any protected ground and alleged harm. The BIA and Seventh Circuit agreed. Orellana‐Arias did not meet his burden of demonstrating a nexus between the alleged persecution and his proposed social groups of wealthy deportees or gang resisters. View "Orellana-Arias v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit vacated the decision of Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) determining that the Massachusetts crime of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (ABDW) is categorically a crime involving mural turpitude under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The effect of the BIA’s opinion was to render Petitioner ineligible for cancellation of removal. Petitioner had pleaded guilty to one count of Massachusetts ABDW, after which the Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings against him. Petitioner applied for cancellation of removal. The immigration judge (IJ) denied relief, concluding that Massachusetts ABDW is categorically a CIMT because of the presence of an aggravating element - the use of a dangerous weapon. The BIA agreed with the IJ. The First Circuit remanded the case for further consideration, as there were too many questions about the BIA’s thinking on the mental state required for a Massachusetts reckless ABDW conviction for the court to review the BIA’s CIMT determination. View "Coelho v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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Holding someone in a holding cell at the request of federal immigration officers, pursuant to a federal civil immigration detainer, constitutes an arrest under Massachusetts law. Furthermore, Massachusetts court officers do not have the authority to arrest someone at the request of a federal immigration authorities, pursuant to a civil immigration detainer, solely because the federal authorities believe the person is subject to civil removal. Petitioner was held by Massachusetts court officers in a holding cell at the request of a federal immigration officer pursuant to a federal civil immigration detainer. Petitioner’s counsel filed a petition in the county court on his behalf, asking a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court to order the municipal court to release him. Because Petitioner was subsequently taken into federal custody, the single justice considered the matter moot but reserved and reported the case to the full court. The Supreme Judicial Court remanded the case for entry of a judgment stating that Petitioner’s case was dismissed as moot and declaring that Massachusetts law provides no authority for Massachusetts court officers to arrest and hold an individual solely on the basis of a federal civil immigration detainer beyond the time that the individual would otherwise be entitled to be released from state custody. View "Lunn v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law