Articles Posted in Immigration 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 protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The court agreed with the BIA that the harm petitioner suffered -- being threatened by a phone call and letter from a gang demanding money -- did not constitute past persecution. The court held that substantial evidence supported the BIA's ultimate finding that petitioner failed to prove that she had a well-founded fear of future persecution if removed to El Salvador. The court also held that the BIA did not err in ruling that petitioner failed to prove past persecution on account of her membership in two particular social groups: Salvadoran female heads of households and vulnerable Salvadoran females. Petitioner's claims for withholding of removal and relief under the CAT likewise failed. View "Blanco De Guevara v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Eighth Circuit denied a petition 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 court held that substantial evidence in the administrative record supported the BIA's finding that petitioner and his son failed to prove past persecution. The court held that petitioner failed to establish an objective nexus between fear of future persecution and a protected ground. Although petitioner claimed a well-founded fear on account of his Mam ethnicity, the BIA found insufficient proof that the harm his family suffered during the guerilla conflict was due to their ethnicity, no evidence that private persons who claimed the family's land after they fled to Mexico acted on account of their ethnicity, and no evidence of a pattern or practice against Mam people in Guatemala. Furthermore, claims of fear of future persecution by the Zetas was not related to a protected ground. View "Martin v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Eighth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's grant of DHS's motion to pretermit petitioner's cancellation of removal application. At issue was whether petitioner's Nebraska criminal attempt conviction qualified as a crime involving moral turpitude. Petitioner's plea arose from his use of a fraudulent social security card to obtain employment. The court held that the criminal impersonation statute underlying petitioner's attempt conviction was a divisible statute. The court applied the modified categorical approach, but was unable to determine which subsection under which petitioner was convicted. The court explained that petitioner had the burden of establishing his eligibility for cancellation of removal, and because he failed to meet his burden, the court upheld the Board's determination that he has not shown such eligibility. View "Pereida v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's order upholding the IJ's finding that petitioner was removeable. The court held that petitioner's 2009 deferred judgment under Iowa Code 907.3(1) was a conviction for immigration purposes under 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1101(a)(48)(A), because he entered a guilty plea and the IJ ordered a restraint on his liberty with deferred judgment and probation. Moreover, the reinstatement of the deferred judgment was not intended to correct a procedural or substantive defect. View "Zazueta v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit denied Petitioner’s petition for review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming the immigration judge’s (IJ) denial of Petitioner’s motion to terminate removal proceedings, holding that substantial evidence supported the finding of the lower courts that Petitioner’s convictions qualified as crimes involving moral turpitude. Based on Petitioner’s Missouri convictions for receiving stolen property and passing bad checks, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) charged Petitioner with removability. Petitioner filed a motion to terminate removal proceedings, alleging that DHS did not demonstrate that her convictions qualified as crimes involving moral turpitude. The IJ denied the petition, and the BIA affirmed. The Eighth Circuit affirmed, holding that, applying the modified categorical approach, Petitioner’s four Missouri convictions for passing a bad check qualified as crimes involving moral turpitude. View "Dolic v. Barr" on Justia Law

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Petitioner sought review of the denial of his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The Eighth Circuit denied the petition, holding that there was no legal error in the IJ's determination that petitioner's application for asylum was untimely. The court also held that the criminal acts against petitioner by his cousin did not constitute persecution for purposes of withholding removal, and the specific acts petitioner put forward as evidence of persecution generally do not rise to the level of persecution. Finally, petitioner abandoned his claims regarding the denial of CAT relief. View "Lesum v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence of 111 days and 3 years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful use of identification documents. The court held that the district court's decision to impose supervised release was both consistent with the Sentencing Guidelines and an appropriate exercise of the district court's wide latitude in determining a sentence. In this case, the conditions of defendant's supervised release specified if he were removed or deported, he could not reenter the United States without permission, but he would not be on active supervision while he was outside the country. View "United States v. Hernandez-Loera" 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

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Eighth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's order denying their claims for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The court held that even if the IJ committed procedural error by stopping petitioner's counsel from proposing a particular social group, petitioner failed to demonstrate any resulting prejudice. Furthermore, there was no violation of due process where the IJ's conduct in this case did not show a deep-seated favoritism or antagonism that precluded fair judgment. Finally, petitioner's claims regarding humanitarian asylum and ineffective assistance of counsel were raised for the first time in the petition and thus the court lacked jurisdiction over the claims. View "Gutierrez Molina v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Eighth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision denying petitioner's motion to reconsider the BIA's previous order denying him a discretionary adjustment of status. The court noted that it had jurisdiction to review the petition for abuse of discretion. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion for reconsideration. In this case, the BIA satisfied its obligation to provide a "rational explanation" for its original decision to deny petitioner relief when it denied his motion to reconsider. In this case, the BIA's explanation that it did not violate the clear error standard of review in its weighing of the attempted suicide of one of petitioner's victims qualified as a "rational explanation." View "Camacho v. Whitaker" on Justia Law