Articles Posted in Immigration Law

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The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision concluding that petitioner's conviction for 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), and thus rendered him removeable. 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 his spouse. 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. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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Petitioner sought to adjust his immigration status to that of a lawful permanent resident, but in order to do so, he needed to prove that at least one of the two visa petitions he filed prior to 2001 was approvable when filed, even though both were ultimately denied. USCIS rejected plaintiff's application to adjust his status because the petitions were denied on their merits and because there was no allegation that the petitions were denied on the basis of circumstances that changed between the time when they were filed and the time when they were adjudicated. The panel affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to USCIS, holding that the district court correctly concluded that USCIS was permitted to treat prior merits-based denials of plaintiff's visa petitions as dispositive proof that the petitions were not approvable when filed. View "Hsiao v. Hazuda" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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Petitioner sought review of the IJ's decision denying his motion to suppress evidence of his alienage and ordering his removal. The Ninth Circuit granted the petition for review, holding that the Coast Guard officers committed an egregious Fourth Amendment violation and violated an immigration regulation because they seized him based on his Latino ethnicity alone; the IJ erred in failing to suppress the Form I-213, but the panel did not reach the question of the Family Unity Benefits and Employment Authorization applications; and because petitioner has shown that the Government violated its own regulation that was designed to benefit petitioner, and that petitioner was prejudiced by the violation, his removal proceedings must be terminated. View "Sanchez v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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Pursuant to In re M-A-M-, 25 I. & N. Dec. 474, 480 (B.I.A. 2011), if an applicant shows indicia of incompetency, the IJ has an independent duty to determine whether the applicant is competent. In this case, petitioner sought review of the BIA's dismissal of his appeal from the IJ's denial of his claims for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture. The Ninth Circuit granted the petition, holding that the IJ erred by failing to determine whether procedural safeguards were required after petitioner showed signs of mental incompetency. Furthermore, the BIA abused its discretion by failing to explain why it allowed the IJ to disregard In re M-A-M-'s rigorous procedural requirements. The panel remanded to the BIA with instructions to remand to the IJ for a new hearing consistent with In re M-A-M-. View "Mejia v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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Petitioner sought review of the BIA's decision finding her ineligible for cancellation of removal based on her failure to meet her burden of proof of showing that her conviction for conspiring to sell and transport a controlled substance, in violation of California Penal Code 182(a)(1), was not for a disqualifying controlled substance. The Ninth Circuit held that the conspiracy statute under which petitioner was convicted was overbroad but divisible, petitioner failed to carry her burden of proof to demonstrate that her conviction did not involve a federally controlled substance, and she had failed to exhaust the argument that expungement of her conviction erased its immigration consequences. Accordingly, the panel denied the petition in part and dismissed in part. View "Marinelarena v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision, holding that petitioner's California conviction for second degree murder on an aiding and abetting theory qualified as an aggravated felony. The panel explained that the Supreme Court, in 2007, reviewed California's law on aiding and abetting, which like that of many jurisdictions looks to the natural and probable consequences of an act the defendant intended. Gonzalez v. Duenas-Alvarez, 549 U.S. 183, 191–93 (2007). The Supreme Court concluded that absent a showing that the law has been applied in some "special" way, a conviction in California for aiding and abetting a removable offense was also a removable offense. The panel held that California law has not materially changed since Duenas-Alvarez was decided and was not applied in any "special" way in petitioner's case. View "Sales Jr. v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit granted the petition for review of the BIA's decision concluding that petitioner was ineligible for cancellation of removal because his conviction for petit theft in Idaho was a crime involving moral turpitude. The panel held that the record of conviction was inadequate to determine whether petitioner was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude because the record did not identify any particular statute of conviction and Idaho's petit theft statute was overbroad under the categorical approach. Under the modified categorical approach, the record contained insufficient information to determine whether petitioner was convicted under one of the Idaho petit theft provisions meeting the generic federal offense. The panel also held that the BIA erred by deciding at Chevron step one that an "offense under" 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(i) did not include the within-five-years element. The panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Lozano-Arredondo v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Ninth Circuit filed an amended opinion granting the petition for review of the BIA's decision finding him ineligible for cancellation of removal based on his conviction for delivery of a controlled substance under Oregon Revised Statutes 475.992(1)(a). The panel held that because the Controlled Substances Act does not punish soliciting delivery of controlled substances, section 475.992(1)(a) could not be a categorical match to an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii). Furthermore, because section 475.992(1)(a) was indivisible, the modified categorical approach does not apply. The panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Sandoval v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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DLS petitioned for review of the ALJ's decision finding DLS liable for numerous violations of sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1324a(b), which requires employers to verify that their employees are legally authorized to work in the United States. The ALJ also ordered DLS to pay civil money penalties. In regard to the ALJ's finding that DLS was liable for section 504 violations, the panel held that one charge was untimely under the applicable statute of limitations, so that violation could not stand. The panel denied the petition for review as to the ALJ's finding of the other 503 violations because DLS was not entitled to good faith defenses, and as to the ALJ's determination of the penalty amount. View "DLS Precision Fab LLC v. ICE" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit adopted the persuasive reasoning of the Second Circuit and held that the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UN-CATOC) does not provide an independent basis for relief from removal in immigration proceedings. In this case, the panel denied the petition for review of the BIA's denial of withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The panel held that the BIA did not err in concluding that petitioner was not persecuted on account of his political opinion, whistleblower status, nor his membership in a particular social group of former police officers. Rather, petitioner's attackers told him that he was being attacked because of his role in a drug-trafficking investigation. The panel also held that, because the UN-CATOC has not been implemented through congressional legislation and was not self-executing as to the relief sought here, petitioner may not rely on its provisions for relief from removal. View "Sanjaa v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law