Articles Posted in Immigration Law

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Petitioner, a native of El Salvador, petitioned for review of the BIA's order upholding the denial of his motion to reopen removal proceedings and declining to reopen proceedings sua sponte or to grant administrative closure. The Fifth Circuit denied the petition in part because the BIA did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the petition and declining to administratively close the case. In this case, the controlling statutory requirements, of which petitioner had notice, obligated him to keep the immigration court apprised of his current contact information. Therefore, the court rejected petitioner's claims of lack of notice and violation of due process. The court dismissed in part because it lacked jurisdiction to review the BIA's refusal to reopen proceedings sua sponte. View "Hernandez-Castillo v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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In these consolidated appeals, petitioner and his father sought review of the BIA's holding that petitioner was inadmissible to the United States and ineligible to adjust his citizenship status because his conviction for misprision of a felony is a crime involving moral turpitude. Furthermore, the government challenged two aspects of the district court's decision. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the BIA's order in the first appeal and denied the petition for review, holding that the BIA did not err in holding that misprision of a felony is a crime of moral turpitude. Although the district court correctly held that the residency requirements of 8 U.S.C. 1401 and 1409 violate equal protection, the court reversed the district court's judgment that petitioner is a United States citizen under a constitutional reading of those statutes in light of the limited remedy the Supreme Court announced for that violation. View "Villegas-Sarabia 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 denying a motion to reconsider petitioner's motion to reopen. Applying Chevron deference to the agency's decision, the court held that petitioner failed to brief her ineffective assistance of counsel claims and therefore waived those claims. View "Lowe v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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Petitioner sought review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's denial of petitioner's application for cancellation of removal. The Fifth Circuit denied the petition for review, holding that because petitioner was sentenced to a "term of imprisonment of at least one year," the BIA did not err in determining that his aggravated-assault conviction was an aggravated felony that made him ineligible for cancellation of removal. View "Calvillo Garcia v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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After the IJ denied petitioner's motion to reopen her removal proceedings as untimely, the BIA dismissed her appeal. The Fifth Circuit denied her petition for review, holding that she has failed to meet her burden of demonstrating she was entitled to equitable tolling. The court explained that it could not consider the BIA's or the IJ's refusal to reopen sua sponte, and the court rejected petitioner's claim that her removal proceeding was a gross miscarriage of justice. View "Gonzalez-Cantu v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment charging him with possession of a firearm and ammunition while unlawfully present in the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(A). The court rejected defendant's contention that his receipt of relief pursuant to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and associated benefits consisting of work authorization, permission to hold a social security card and/or driver's license, and two-year protection from removal render him legally and lawfully present in the United States. In this case, defendant lacked lawful immigration status and he has failed to show entitlement of relief. Because the district court's written judgment incorrectly states that the statute of conviction is Section 922(g)(1), rather than Section 922(g)(5)(A), as alleged in Count One of the superseding indictment, the court affirmed the judgment but reformed it to reflect the conviction under Section 922(g)(5)(A). View "United States v. Arrieta" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a ten year old native and citizen of El Salvador, petitioned for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's denial of asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The Fifth Circuit denied the petition for review, holding that the alleged past-persecution of petitioner's mother cannot be imputed to petitioner; petitioner suffered from an isolated, verbal threat of future violence; and petitioner's omissions justified the BIA's refusal to overturn the IJ's adverse credibility determination. Therefore, the BIA correctly held that petitioner did not suffer from a well-found fear of persecution. The court affirmed the denial of relief. View "Herrera Morales v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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House Bill 11 added a new basis of liability while limiting a Texas statute's, Tex. Penal Code 20.05, reach to those who smuggle persons with "the intent to obtain a pecuniary benefit." Two of the plaintiffs in this case rent residential property to persons regardless of immigration status. Two other plaintiffs provide social services to low-income individuals. Plaintiffs filed suit claiming that provisions of House Bill 11 are preempted by federal immigration law and violate the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. The district court dismissed the Fourteenth Amendment claims but granted a preliminary injunction on the ground that plaintiffs' preemption arguments were likely to succeed on the merits. The court concluded that plaintiffs lack Article III standing because they cannot demonstrate a credible threat of prosecution where they have not hampered authorities from finding any of the illegal aliens they rent to or serve, nor have they taken steps to help the aliens evade "detection" by the authorities. Therefore, the court reversed the injunction and rendered a judgment of dismissal for want of jurisdiction, because there was no reasonable interpretation by which merely renting housing or providing social services to an illegal alien constitutes harboring that person from detection. View "Cruz v. Abbott" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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USCIS denied plaintiff's application for naturalization based on her conviction of conspiracy to commit false or altered lottery tickets. USCIS reasoned that plaintiff's conviction, an aggravated felony, permanently prevented her from demonstrating good moral character and thus from being naturalized. Plaintiff argues that the Louisiana statute implementing the first-offender pardon demonstrates that this is a full pardon such that it falls within the regulation. Given that Louisiana does not consider the automatic first-offender pardon to restore "a status of innocence," as does a gubernatorial pardon, the court concluded that USCIS's interpretation that an automatic first-offender pardon is not a "full and unconditional executive pardon" is permissible. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment. View "Nguyen v. USCIS" on Justia Law

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Defendant appealed his conviction and sentence for illegal reentry after deportation, arguing that the district court erred in determining that his prior New Jersey conviction for endangering the welfare of a child is a crime of violence (COV). The court concluded that even if his conviction was not for sexual abuse of a minor and does not qualify as an aggravated felony, he has also been convicted of illegal reentry and that conviction qualifies as an aggravated felony. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "United States v. Solano-Hernandez" on Justia Law