Articles Posted in Immigration Law

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The Fifth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision determining petitioner's conviction of online solicitation of a minor was an aggravated felony that subjected him to removal. The court held that Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions, 137 S. Ct. 1562 (2017), abrogated the court's previous definition of a minor in this context. Esquivel-Quintana established an age requirement that rendered petitioner's statute of conviction overbroad and did not qualify as sexual abuse of a minor for purposes of removability. Therefore, the court reversed the decision of the BIA and remanded for further proceedings. View "Shroff v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment in an action arising from a property insurance policy that Lexington issued to LWL to insure construction equipment that LWL leased from Sierra. The court held that the equitable lien doctrine did not apply to Sierra, who was not a party to the insurance policy, and Sierra did not have standing to sue Lexington. In this case, the agreement between Sierra and LWL did not require that LWL obtain insurance with a loss payable clause to Sierra, and the Lexington policy did not contain such a clause. View "Sierra Equipment, Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Co." on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit withdrew its prior opinion in order to eliminate reference to United States v. Gonzalez-Longoria, 831 F.3d 670 (5th Cir. 2016) (en banc), given that decision's abrogation by the Supreme Court in Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204 (2018). The court upheld Senate Bill 4 (SB4), a Texas law that forbids "sanctuary city" policies throughout the state, and held that SB4's provisions, with one exception, did not violate the Constitution. The court held that none of SB4's provisions conflict with federal law where the assistance-cooperation, the status-inquiry, and the information-sharing provisions were not conflict preempted. The court affirmed the district court's injunction against enforcement of Section 752.053(a)(1) only as it prohibits elected officials from "endors[ing] a policy under which the entity or department prohibits or materially limits the enforcement of immigration laws." The court held that plaintiffs failed to establish that every seizure authorized by the ICE-detainer mandate violated the Fourth Amendment; the "materially limits" phrase had a clear core and was not void for vagueness; and plaintiffs' "commandeering" argument failed. Accordingly, the court vacated in large part the district court's preliminary injunction and remanded with instructions to dismiss the vacated provisions. View "City of El Cenizo v. Texas" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit denied in part and granted in part a petition for review of the BIA's dismissal of an appeal of the IJ's denial of relief. The court held that the BIA erred in requiring petitioner to prove past persecution to establish a claim based on a well-founded fear of future persecution and in recharacterizing petitioner's claimed social group as those who might defy gangs, rather than as female activists or human rights defenders from Honduras who actively protest the Maras. The court affirmed in all other respects, remanding for further proceedings. View "Cabrera v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's claims against the Government for false arrest and false imprisonment under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). Plaintiff claimed that she was falsely arrested and imprisoned by Custom and Border Protection (CBP) officers because the officers detained her after she presented them with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which in her view conclusively showed entitlement to remain in the United States. The court held that the discretionary function exception to the FTCA applied in this case where the officers enforced a removal order. The court reasoned that, what plaintiff insisted was certain from the EAD and removed all discretion was, in reality, sufficiently uncertain as to leave discretion in the hands of the officers. Furthermore, reading the discretionary function exception in conjunction with the law enforcement proviso, the court held that the district court was correct in holding that there was no subject matter jurisdiction. However, the district court did err in dismissing the FTCA claims with prejudice. Therefore, the court vacated and remanded so that the district court may enter a revised order and final judgment that dismisses the suit without prejudice. View "Campos v. United States" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit granted a petition for panel rehearing and withdrew its prior opinion, substituting the following opinion. Petitioner appealed the BIA's decision that he was eligible for deportation pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(B)(i) for possessing a controlled substance in violation of Oklahoma law. This circuit has held that the realistic probability test applies whenever the categorical approach is employed. See United States v. Castillo-Rivera, 853 F.3d 218 (5th Cir. 2017) (en banc), cert. denied, No. 17-5054, 2017 WL 2855255 (Dec. 4, 2017). The court held that, given that the state statute is facially broader than its federal analog, Castillo-Rivera suggests that petitioner could prevail only if the realistic probability test was satisfied. However, petitioner failed to address the question in his brief on appeal, and thus waived the only argument available to him in the wake of Castillo-Rivera. Accordingly, the court denied the petition for review. View "Rodriguez Vazquez v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit upheld Senate Bill 4 (SB4), a Texas law that forbids "sanctuary city" policies throughout the state, and held that SB4's provisions, with one exception, did not violate the Constitution. The court held that none of SB4's provisions conflict with federal law where the assistance-cooperation, the status-inquiry, and the information-sharing provisions were not conflict preempted. The court affirmed the district court's injunction against enforcement of Section 752.053(a)(1) only as it prohibits elected officials from "endors[ing] a policy under which the entity or department prohibits or materially limits the enforcement of immigration laws." The court held that plaintiffs failed to establish that every seizure authorized by the ICE-detainer mandate violated the Fourth Amendment; the "materially limits" phrase had a clear core and was not void for vagueness; and plaintiffs' "commandeering" argument failed. Accordingly, the court vacated in large part the district court's preliminary injunction and remanded with instructions to dismiss the vacated provisions. View "City of El Cenizo v. Texas" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit dismissed the petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's denial of petitioner's motion to reopen. The court held that whether petitioner diligently pursued her rights to warrant equitable tolling was a question of fact and the jurisdictional bar of 8 U.S.C. 1252(a)(2)(C) applied. Therefore, the court lacked jurisdiction to consider the petition. View "Penalva v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Fifth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's order upholding the denial of petitioner's motion to reopen removal proceedings. The court held that the Board did not abuse its discretion in dismissing petitioner's appeal and in affirming the IJ's decision finding that she received proper notice of her removal hearing and failed to show a change in country conditions. View "Garcia Nunez v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Fifth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's order upholding the denial of petitioner's motion to reopen removal proceedings. The court held that the Board did not abuse its discretion in dismissing petitioner's appeal and in affirming the IJ's decision finding that she received proper notice of her removal hearing and failed to show a change in country conditions. View "Garcia Nunez v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law