Articles Posted in Immigration Law

by
Meridor arrived in the U.S. about 25 years ago as a political refugee from Haiti and applied for political asylum. He withdrew his application after it lingered for many years. In 2013, DHS notified Meridor that he was subject to removal as a foreign national without a valid visa or passport, and because he had convictions for a crime of moral turpitude and controlled-substance offenses. Meridor applied for asylum and for withholding of removal. An IJ agreed that Meridor was removable and denied his requests for asylum and withholding of removal. Meridor moved for reconsideration, but before the IJ ruled, Meridor applied to USCIS for a U visa (available to certain crime victims). The IJ terminated his removal proceedings, and, acting as the Attorney General’s delegate, stated that she had jurisdiction over the waiver application. Before the IJ could issue a written opinion, USCIS denied Meridor’s applications for a U visa and waiver of inadmissibility. Three weeks later, the IJ granted the waiver, citing “extraordinary circumstances.” The BIA reversed the IJ’s decision, holding that only DHS can grant waivers of inadmissibility for U visa applications and that Meridor did not merit such a waiver. The Eleventh Circuit vacated. The plain language of 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(3)(A) gives IJs authority to grant waivers of inadmissibility and the BIA committed legal error in reaching its alternative holding on the merits. View "Meridor v. United States Attorney General" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

by
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for unlawful procurement of naturalization because he concealed from immigration authorities his past as a guard at a Serbian prison camp. The court held that the district court did not err when it prevented defendant from presenting hearsay statements of foreign witnesses who were unavailable to testify at trial; defendant failed to demonstrate that his constitutional right to present a complete defense was violated under Chambers v. Mississippi, 410 U.S. 284 (1973); assuming arguendo that the Geneva Convention could be judicially noticed, the district court did not err in determining that its probative value was substantially outweighed by the possibility of confusing the issues and potentially misleading the jury; and the district court did not violate defendant's rights under Chambers when it declined to take judicial notice. View "United States v. Mitrovic" on Justia Law

by
The Eleventh Circuit granted respondents' motion to dismiss this appeal as moot and vacated the prior published opinion. In this case, petitioner was removed from the United States and was no longer detained in immigration custody. Both sides agree that the appeal has become moot. View "Sopo v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

by
The Eleventh Circuit held that substantial evidence supported the BIA's decision that petitioner had not suffered past persecution by the Cameroonian police and that he lacked a well-founded fear of future persecution. The court held that the BIA was entitled to find that any mistreatment petitioner suffered did not rise to the level of persecution, to find that the police investigated his mistreatment, and to rely on country reports published by the State Department stating that conditions in Cameroon were improving for gay individuals. Finally, petitioner was not denied due process. Accordingly, the court denied his petition for review. View "Sama v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

by
The Eleventh Circuit held that substantial evidence supported the BIA's decision that petitioner had not suffered past persecution by the Cameroonian police and that he lacked a well-founded fear of future persecution. The court held that the BIA was entitled to find that any mistreatment petitioner suffered did not rise to the level of persecution, to find that the police investigated his mistreatment, and to rely on country reports published by the State Department stating that conditions in Cameroon were improving for gay individuals. Finally, petitioner was not denied due process. Accordingly, the court denied his petition for review. View "Sama v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

by
The Eleventh Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's order of removal based on his five criminal convictions for drug offenses under Florida Statute 893.13. The court held that the BIA did not err in concluding that petitioner was ineligible for cancellation of removal because his Florida conviction for sale of cocaine, in violation of Fla. Stat. 893.13(1)(a)(1), constituted "illicit trafficking" within the meaning of 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43)(B). View "Choizilme v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

by
The Eleventh Circuit granted the petition for review of the BIA's denial of cancellation of removal. In this case, petitioner satisfied the third requirement of eligibility for cancellation of removal where the Florida statute under which petitioner had been convicted, trafficking in cocaine, was neither divisible nor had a categorical match in the Controlled Substance Act (CSA). Therefore, the court vacated the BIA's decision and remanded for further proceedings. View "Francisco v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

by
The Eleventh Circuit granted a petition for panel rehearing, withdrew the previous published opinion, and substituted this opinion. The court denied the petition for review of the BIA's order affirming petitioner's removal from the United States. The court held that 8 U.S.C. 1432(a) did not discriminate based on gender where, had the situation been reversed, if petitioner's mother had become a lawful permanent resident, was naturalized, and raised him in the United States while his father remained in Jamaica, he still would not have derived citizenship because his parents never legally separated. The court also held that section 1432(a) did not unconstitutionally discriminate based on legitimacy and, in the alternative, assuming without deciding that section 1432(a)(3)'s distinction based on marital choice was a legitimacy based classification, the statute passed constitutional muster. The court agreed with its sister circuits that section 1432(a) was substantially related to protecting parental rights. Finally, section 1432(a) did not unconstitutionally burden petitioner's fundamental right to maintain a family unit. View "Levy v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

by
The Eleventh Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision denying petitioner's application for cancellation of removal and ordering removal. The court held that petitioner's narcotics conviction did not disqualify her from cancellation of removal, because the Florida statute under which she was convicted did not qualify as an aggravated felony where it was indivisible and categorically overbroad. The court remanded for the BIA to reconsider petitioner's application. View "Cintron v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

by
The Eleventh Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision denying petitioner's application for cancellation of removal and ordering removal. The court held that petitioner's narcotics conviction did not disqualify her from cancellation of removal, because the Florida statute under which she was convicted did not qualify as an aggravated felony where it was indivisible and categorically overbroad. The court remanded for the BIA to reconsider petitioner's application. View "Cintron v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law