Articles Posted in Immigration Law

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The Eighth Circuit joined the BIA and a unanimous chorus of other circuits that have considered and rejected the argument that a notice to appear that, like petitioner's, does not contain the time and place of removal proceeding is not valid. The court rejected petitioner's claim that a court utilizing such a notice fails to obtain subject matter jurisdiction at its inception and so the entire proceedings and any subsequent removal order are invalid. Determining that it had jurisdiction over the petition for review, the court held that the BIA did not abuse its discretion by denying petitioner's motion to reopen. The court explained that the BIA need not list every possible argument for and against its decision, and it need not write an exegesis on every contention. Furthermore, the BIA's opinion in this case makes clear that it heard and considered petitioner's arguments. Finally, the court rejected petitioner's due process and equal protection challenges. View "Ali v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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Petitioner, who has been held in custody under 8 U.S.C. 1226(a) since May 2017 while he litigates the issue of whether he is a removable alien, petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus. The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of habeas relief to petitioner, holding that section 1226(a) is not susceptible of more than one construction and that the constitutional avoidance doctrine has no application here. Therefore, the district court erred when it concluded that pre-removal order detention under section 1226(a) is limited to "the period reasonably necessary to receive a removal decision." The court remanded for further consideration of petitioner's constitutional arguments. View "Ali v. Brott" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Eighth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's order denying petitioner's motion to administratively close or remand to the IJ, and denying petitioner's motion to reopen and reconsider the first denial. The court held that the BIA's substantial discussion of the statutory and regulatory bases for using a substitute IJ were sufficient. The court held that reopening a case should not be granted unless the alien has met the heavy burden of showing that the new evidence presented would likely change the result in the case. The court held that the BIA applied the correct legal standard in reviewing petitioner's request to submit additional hardship evidence. The court also held that the BIA did not err in denying petitioner's motion to remand in an April order. However, the court remanded for clarification of the BIA's rationale for denying the motion to open in the December order. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part and reversed in part. View "Caballero-Martinez 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 denying petitioner's application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The Eighth Circuit held that the BIA's decision was supported by substantial evidence where a reasonable adjudicator would not be compelled to find that the Guatemalan government was and would be unwilling or unable to protect petitioner against her daughter's father. Because petitioner failed to establish her eligibility for asylum, she also failed to establish withholding of removal. Finally, substantial evidence supported the BIA's denial of CAT relief because there was no evidence in the record that if petitioner were returned to Guatemala the government would torture her or be willfully blind to her torture at the hands of her daughter's father. View "Juarez-Coronado 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 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