Articles Posted in Immigration Law

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Petitioner sought review of the BIA's decision denying his motion to reopen removal proceedings. The DC Circuit dismissed in part and denied in part, holding that petitioner's constitutional claims challenging the order of removal itself and those addressing the sufficiency of the IJ's order denying the instant motion were not properly exhausted in immigration proceedings or were otherwise not properly before the court. In regard to petitioner's remaining claims challenging the BIA's decision, the court could not say that the BIA abused its discretion or that its opinion lacked reasoned consideration when it denied petitioner's motion to reopen. View "Bing Quan Lin v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Eleventh Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's orders of removable and denial of cancellation of removal based on petitioner's felony conviction for battery of a child by throwing, tossing, projecting, or expelling blood, seminal fluid, urine, or feces, in violation of Florida Statute 784.085. The court held that petitioner was removable because his conviction was a crime of child abuse within the meaning of 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(E)(i); petitioner was ineligible for cancellation of removal because his conviction was a crime involving moral turpitude within the meaning of 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(i); and the IJ did not deprive petitioner of due process by granting the government's motion to pretermit his application for cancellation of removal. View "Pierre v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for reentering the country illegal following deportation. The court held that defendant was unable to meet the requirements that would allow for a collateral attack of her underlying deportation order. Even assuming without deciding that defendant was correct in asserting that a conviction for Florida grand theft no longer qualified as a crime involving moral turpitude, the court held that defendant was not deprived of a meaningful opportunity for judicial review of her deportation order and may not collaterally attack her underlying deportation order in these 8 U.S.C. 1326 proceedings. The court also held that the district court's evidentiary rulings were either not erroneous or, if they were, the error was harmless. View "United States v. Watkins" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit denied the petition for review and held that the BIA's interpretation of 8 U.S.C. 1182(h) was reasonable where the agency concluded that petitioner was not entitled to relief under the Special Rule based on his convictions for crimes of moral turpitude. Upon careful review of petitioner's arguments and the BIA's discussion in Matter of Y-N-P-, the court held that section 1182(h) was ambiguous and the BIA rationally and thoughtfully considered the unique legal question before it, reasonably concluding that section 1182(h) was unavailable to applicants under the Special Rule. View "Arevalo v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Eleventh Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's final order of removal. The BIA affirmed an IJ's finding that petitioner was removable under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(1)(A) for having willfully made a material misrepresentation on his application to adjust his status to that of a lawful permanent resident. The court held that, because he had not been confined in a prison, petitioner did not make a misrepresentation on his application for an adjustment of his status to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States when he answered "no" to Question 17 on his application. View "Alfaro v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a citizen of Guyana and lawful permanent resident of the United States, petitioned for review of the BIA's order upholding the IJ's finding that he was removable under 8 U.S.C. 237(a)(2)(A)(iii). The Eleventh Circuit granted the petition, holding that petitioner's prior conviction for violating Florida Statute 893.13(1)(a) did not constitute an aggravated felony. In this case, the Florida statute is divisible and, under the modified categorical approach, a conviction for delivery of a controlled substance under section 893.13(1)(a) does not qualify as an aggravated felony. View "Gordon v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff challenged CIS's denial of her petition, Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, seeking an immigrant visa for her alien father. The court concluded that CIS's decision denying plaintiff's 2012 petition was not arbitrary and capricious or otherwise contrary to law and that substantial evidence supported the decision. In this case, the evidence regarding her father's marriage was sufficient to support CIS's doubts about the marriage's validity and was also sufficient to support denial of the visa petition for failure to prove the father's ultimate eligibility. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Mendoza v. Secretary, DHS" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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This appeal arose from a labor dispute involving the H-2A visa program. Defendant Consolidated Citrus Limited Partnership (“Consolidated Citrus”) appealed from the district court’s order granting judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and holding Consolidated Citrus liable as a joint employer. All original plaintiffs were Mexican nationals who came to the United States temporarily to work as harvesters on citrus groves in central Florida. These plaintiffs entered the United States legally under the federal H-2A visa program. During the 2005-06 harvest season, Consolidated Citrus struggled to find sufficient labor to meet its harvesting needs. Starting with the 2006-07 harvest season, Consolidated Citrus began working with labor contractors to hire temporary foreign workers. One such labor contractor was defendant Ruiz Harvesting, Inc. (“RHI”), owned by Basiliso Ruiz (“Ruiz”). Consolidated Citrus expected the temporary workers to be at their assigned groves at some time in the early morning, but RHI personnel ultimately decided what time the workers would arrive. Each day, RHI transported workers to and from the groves in RHI vehicles. Under the H-2A program regulations, agricultural workers compensated on a piece-rate basis must be paid at least the equivalent of the wages they would have received under the applicable “adverse effect wage rate” (“AEWR”), which was the hourly minimum set by the Department of Labor. Where a worker’s piece-rate wages did not add up to the wages the worker would have earned under the hourly rate, the employer had to supplement that worker’s earnings to meet that minimum wage. The supplemental amount was known as “build-up” pay. RHI perpetrated a kickback scheme to recoup this build-up pay: on payday, RHI employees drove the H-2A temporary workers to a bank where the workers cashed their paychecks. The workers then returned to the RHI vehicle, where an RHI employee collected cash from each worker in an amount equal to that worker’s build-up pay. H-2A workers were told to return money only to Ruiz and RHI and only when the workers’ paychecks included build-up pay. No one from Consolidated Citrus demanded that H-2A temporary workers return their build-up pay, and no H-2A temporary worker ever complained directly to Consolidated Citrus about RHI’s kickback scheme. After careful review of this matter, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded this case to the district court for further proceedings. To the extent that the district court held Consolidated Citrus liable as a joint employer for purposes of the plaintiffs’ Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims, the Court affirmed. The Court reversed, however, the district court’s determination that the FLSA “suffer or permit to work” standard applied to the breach of contract claims for purposes of determining whether Consolidated Citrus qualified as a joint employer under the H-2A program. The case was remanded to the district court to apply, in the first instance, that governing standard of common law agency for purposes of the plaintiffs’ breach of contract claims. View "Garcia-Celestino, et al. v. Consolidated Citrus Ltd. Partnership" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of Haiti, seeks review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's order finding him ineligible for relief from removal based on his criminal conviction for abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult under Florida Statute 825.102(1). The court concluded that a conviction for abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult pursuant to the Florida statute is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude. Therefore, the court lacks jurisdiction to review the petition for review under 8 U.S.C. 1252(a)(2)(C) and the petition is dismissed. View "Gelin v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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Petitioner, a citizen of Albania, seeks review of the BIA's order upholding the IJ's finding that his conviction for sale of a controlled substance, in violation of Florida Statute 893.13(1)(a)(1), constituted an aggravated felony and therefore rendered him removable under section 237(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii). The court concluded that the BIA correctly upheld the IJ's determination that section 893.13(1)(a)(1) is divisible. Therefore, under the modified categorical approach, the court concluded that petitioner's Florida conviction qualifies as an "illicit trafficking" aggravated felony. The court thus denied the petition for review. View "Spaho v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law