Justia Government & Administrative Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Immigration Law
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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) that denied Petitioner's motion to reopen and terminate his removal proceedings but granted the petition and vacated the BIA's ruling as to Petitioner's motion to reopen and rescind an in absentia removal order against him, holding that Petitioner received the requisite notice.In his motion to reopen to terminate his removal proceedings Petitioner argued that the immigration court lacked jurisdiction over his removal proceedings and in his motion in the alternative to reopen and rescind his removal order in absentia he argued that he did not receive proper notice in accordance with 8 U.S.C. 1229(a). The First Circuit rejected Petitioner's first argument but agreed with his second, holding that the BIA did not permissibly construe the term "notice" in concluding that Petitioner received the requisite notice to be ordered removed in absentia for failing to appear at his removal proceedings. View "Laparra-Deleon v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit granted in part Petitioner's petition for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming the denial of Petitioner's application for withholding of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and for protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that the BIA erred in rejecting Petitioner's social group claim.An immigration judge denied Petitioner's application for withholding of removal and ordered him removed. The BIA dismissed Petitioner's appeal, finding that Petitioner had not established eligibility for withholding of removal. The First Circuit granted in part Petitioner's petition for review and vacated in part the decision of the BIA, holding (1) the BIA's decision rejecting Petitioner's social group claim was in error, and remand was required for the BIA to consider whether Petitioner's proposed social group satisfied the requirements for constituting a particular social group under the INA to which Petitioner belonged; and (2) Petitioner was not entitled to relief on his remaining claims of error. View "Chavez v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit granted Petitioner's petition for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming the denial of Petitioner's application for deferral of removal to Honduras under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that the BIA erred in its review of the decision of the immigration judge (IJ).The IJ denied deferral of removal to Honduras, concluding that Petitioner was not likely to be tortured by, or with the consent or acquiescence of, the Honduran government. The BIA found no error in the IJ's determination. The First Circuit reversed, holding the the BIA erred when it (1) applied the incorrect standard of review to uphold the IJ's denial of CAT relief as to Honduras; (2) improperly failed to address Petitioner's argument that he would likely be tortured by or at the instigation of Honduran officials; and (3) failed meaningfully to address Petitioner's argument that MS-13 members may act under color of law. View "H.H. v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of a final removal order upheld by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), holding that the BIA did not commit legal error or abuse its discretion in failing adequately to address new evidence.Petitioner, a native and citizen of Cape Verde, sought adjustment of status under 8 U.S.C. 1255(a) through his U.S.-citizen son. The immigration judge (IJ) denied Petitioner's application for adjustment of status, and the BIA affirmed. The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review, holding (1) the arguments and challenges Petitioner put forth as to the denial of his application for adjustment of status were neither constitutionally cognizable nor legally colorable; and (2) there was no basis to overturn the BIA's decision to deny the motion to remand the case. View "Moreno v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissing his appeal of an order of the immigration judge (IJ) denying Petitioner nunc pro tunc relief from removal, holding that there was no error in the agency's decision.Petitioner was charged with removability. Petitioner denied the charges, arguing that the Department of Homeland Appeals should be equitably estopped from removing him, and sought cancellation of removal, nunc pro tunc relief under former section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and voluntary departure. The IJ determined that Petitioner was ineligible for relief from removal. The BIA dismissed the appeal. The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review, holding (1) Petitioner was not eligible for nunc pro tunc relief under former section 212(c); and (2) Defendant was not entitled to equitable estoppel. View "Reyes-Batista v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit dismissed Petitioner's petition for review of the denial by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) of his application for withholding of removal under 8 U.S.C. 1231(b)(3), holding that the petition is dismissed due to Petitioner's failure to exhaust an issue upon which which his argument on appeal depended.After he was placed in removal proceedings Petitioner sought asylum and withholding of removal or, in the alternative, voluntary departure. The immigration judge (IJ) denied all claims, and the BIA affirmed without opinion. Petitioner appealed, challenging only the BIA's denial of his application for withholding of removal. The First Circuit dismissed the petition for review, holding that because Petitioner did not challenge the aspect of the IJ's ruling to the BIA that he now appealed, he could not bring that challenge to the First Circuit in the first instance because the issue was not exhausted. View "Cante-Lopez v. Garland" on Justia Law

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In 1999, Javier Zapata-Chacon, then a conditional permanent resident, admitted his removability based on a Colorado conviction for possession of marihuana. An Immigration Judge (“IJ”) ordered Zapata-Chacon removed and a final administrative order issued and was executed that same year. Since his removal, Zapata-Chacon illegally reentered the United States on three occasions. In 2020, Zapata-Chacon moved for reconsideration of the 1999 removal order, arguing his possession of marihuana conviction was not a categorical match to a federal “controlled substance offense” because Colorado’s definition of marihuana used broader language than the federal definition. An IJ denied the motion. The Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) adopted and affirmed the IJ’s denial, and Zapata-Chacon appealed. With the petition pending before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals court, the Government, through a letter pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 28(j), contended for the first time that the IJ and the BIA lacked authority to reopen or review Zapata-Chacon’s proceeding based on him having illegally reentered the United States. The Tenth Circuit concluded 8 U.S.C. § 1231(a)(5) clearly stripped the BIA of authority to review a prior order of removal or to grant any relief provided by the Immigration and Nationality Chapter of Title 8 once a removed alien illegally reentered the United States. Accordingly, Zapata-Chacon’s petition for review was denied. View "Zapata-Chacon v. Garland" on Justia Law

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In 2012 the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Eight states and the Governors of two states, led by Texas, have challenged DACA’s validity. In ruling on competing motions for summary judgment, the district court held that the DACA Memorandum violates procedural and substantive requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The district court vacated the DACA Memorandum and remanded to DHS for further consideration but temporarily stayed that vacatur as it applies to current DACA recipients. The district court further ruled that DHS may continue to accept new and renewal DACA applications but enjoined DHS from approving any new DACA applications.   The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment in part but remanded to the district court rather than DHS in light of a final rule promulgated by DHS in August 2022. The court explained that it affirmed the district court’s judgment with regard to the procedural and substantive provisions of the DACA memorandum.   There is evidence that if DACA were no longer in effect, at least some recipients would leave, and their departure would reduce the State’s Medicaid, social services and education costs for those individuals and their families who depart with them. Especially with the benefit of special solicitude, Texas has established that rescinding DACA would redress its harm. Accordingly, Texas has demonstrated standing based on its direct injury. Further, the court held that because DACA did not undergo notice and comment, it violates the procedural requirements of the APA. View "State of Texas v. USA" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied the petition for review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying Petitioner's application for cancellation of removal, holding that substantial evidence supported the BIA's determination that Petitioner had not shown prejudice, and the BIA committed no error of law in that ruling.Petitioner, a native of Haiti, was charged as removable under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(C) based on a firearm conviction. Petitioner filed applications for asylum, withholding of removal, protection under the Convention Against Torture, and cancellation of removal. The immigration judge (IJ) denied relief, and the BIA upheld the IJ's determination. The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review, holding that Petitioner was deserving of cancellation of removal. View "Dorce v. Garland" on Justia Law

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ICE has decided to rely almost exclusively on privately owned and operated facilities in California. Two such facilities are run by appellant The Geo Group, Inc. AB 32 would override the federal government’s decision, pursuant to discretion conferred by Congress, to use private contractors to run its immigration detention facilities.The Ninth Circuit en banc court vacated the district court’s denial of the United States and The Geo Group, Inc.’s motion for preliminary injunctive relief, and held that California enacted Assembly Bill (AB) 32, which states that a “person shall not operate a private detention facility within the state,” would give California a virtual power of review over Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s detention decisions, in violation of the Supremacy Clause.The en banc court held that whether analyzed under intergovernmental immunity or preemption, California cannot exert this level of control over the federal government’s detention operations. The en banc court remanded for further proceedings. The en banc court held that AB 32 would breach the core promise of the Supremacy Clause. To comply with California law, ICE would have to cease its ongoing immigration detention operations in California and adopt an entirely new approach in the state. This foundational limit on state power cannot be squared with the dramatic changes that AB 32 would require ICE to make. The en banc court held that appellants are likely to prevail on their claim that AB 32 violates the Supremacy Clause as to ICE-contracted facilities. View "THE GEO GROUP, INC., ET AL V. GAVIN NEWSOM, ET AL" on Justia Law