Thursday, March 27, 2008

7th Circuit, Aliens, Immigration case law updates, Asylum

07-1097 Haxhui v. Mukasey: Asylum; persecution

Haxhui v. Mukasey No. 07-1097 March 19, 2008 (Flaum, J.)
Opinion | Full Text
Haxhui v. Mukasey

Where an asylum seeker suffered persecution for anti-corruption activities in Albania, it was error to deny him asylum.

"Haxhiu's military duties are no obstacle to his asylum claim because his anti-corruption activities persisted beyond his employment with the Albanian Army. See Musabelliu, 442 F.3d at 996; Pavlyk, 469 F.3d at 1089. He approached the press after his termination-and suffered persecution for doing so. The threats to his family, realized at least with respect to his son (the cause of his daughter's harm is unknown), came about because of his attempt to engage in 'classic political activit[y].' See Pavlyk, 469 F.3d at 1089; see also Musabelliu, 442 F.3d at 995 (providing as an example of political speech that may attract persecution 'someone who writes an op-ed piece or otherwise urges the people to rid themselves of corrupt officials'). Indeed, this round of threats specifically cited Haxhiu's public speech as the impetus for harm to him and his family. Thus, it was premature for the IJ to conclude his analysis at this stage. And it is not decisive that the corruption of which Haxhiu complained did not pervade every level of the Albanian government; a political opinion in opposition to corruption carries no such requirement. See generally Pavlyk, 469 F.3d at 1089; Musabelliu, 442 F.3d at 995-96; Marquez, 105 F.3d at 381."

Petition Granted.
Escobar-Barraza v. Mukasey No. 07-2502 March 13, 2008 (EASTERBROOK)
Oral Argument | Full Text
Escobar-Barraza v. Mukasey, No. 07-2502

Petition for review of a determination of inadmissibility is granted where, although the petitioner was inadmissible, he qualified for a waiver under 8 U.S.C. section 1182(h) since his conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia related to a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana.

"Possessing a pipe for smoking marijuana is a crime within the scope of § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) because drug paraphernalia relates to the drug with which it is used, and that statute speaks of a crime "relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 802 of title 21)". If possession of drug paraphernalia relates to the controlled substance for the purpose of § 1182(a), why not for the purpose of § 1182(h)? The Board's observation that a conviction for possessing paraphernalia differs from a conviction for possessing marijuana is true, but § 1182(h) is not limited to a conviction for possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana. The phrase is: "such subsection insofar as it relates to a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana" (emphasis added). The Board's understanding deprives the italicized phrase of any function, treating "relates to" as if it were "is". Neither the Board's opinion nor the brief and argument by the Department of Justice has suggested what "relates to" means, or how that phrase can bring a paraphernalia conviction within § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) but not § 1182(h). Consider someone who is arrested while smoking marijuana from a pot pipe at a concert. In most states, that's three crimes: possessing marijuana, possessing drug paraphernalia, and using drugs in a public place. If the state obtains a conviction for possessing marijuana, then § 1182(h) applies if the alien had 30 grams or less. (A 6-ounce (170 gram) can of loose tobacco, see Top Tobacco, L.P. v. North Atlantic Operating Co., 509 F.3d 380 (7th Cir. 2007), is sold as enough for 200 cigarettes; this implies that 30 grams of marijuana is considerably more than one person could smoke at a concert.) Likewise, we should suppose, if the prosecutor charges the alien with smoking pot in public, that conviction "relates to" the marijuana being smoked. Section 1182(h) speaks of a conviction that relates to an "offense" of possessing marijuana; an "offense" may or may not lead to a "conviction" for that possession. That's how a conviction for smoking pot in public relates to the offense of possessing marijuana. And it is hard to see why things should be different if the prosecutor charges the alien with possessing paraphernalia to smoke the weed. Not even Thomas Reed Powell--who famously defined the legal mind as one that can think of something that is inextricably connected to something else without thinking about what it is connected to--could miss the fact that a pot pipe is related to the pot that it is used to smoke.

So there is no logical problem in treating a pot pipe as related to marijuana, whether or not the pipe and the marijuana are found together in a pouch.

Pipes, roach clips, and other paraphernalia designed for use with personal-possession quantities of marijuana come within § 1182(h) because the paraphernalia relates to the drug, and the implied quantity is under 30 grams. Scales, bagging gear, trays and lamps for growing whole plants, and other apparatus for use with larger quantities or distribution do not relate to "simple possession" and so fall outside the waiver. Drawing the line will be difficult in some cases but is easy in Escobar's. His conviction for possessing one pot pipe "relates to a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana". He is therefore eligible for consideration under § 1182(h)."

US v. De Horta Garcia, No. 07-2060 Removal; discretionary waiver

US v. De Horta Garcia No. 07-2502 No. 07-2060 March 13, 2008. (BAUER)
Oral Argument | Full Text
No. 07-2060: US v. De Horta Garcia

Conviction for illegal re-entry is affirmed over defendant's challenge to the denial of his right to seek a discretionary waiver of deportation during his original deportation hearing where: 1) defendant is barred from a collateral attack on his deportation order since the alleged violation did not make the deportation order fundamentally unfair; and 2) relief under INA section 212(c) is not available to any alien whose removal proceeding began after repeal except those who affirmatively abandoned rights or admitted guilt in reliance on section 212(c) relief, and defendant did not demonstrate such affirmative reliance.

The AEDPA's bar against discretionary waivers applies retroactively to aliens who offended before its passage, but were convicted after its passage.

"De Horta Garcia notes, however, that other circuits have taken alternative approaches to the reliance question. First, some circuits have applied St. Cyr to aliens who did not plead guilty or concede deportability before enactment, but did take some affirmative action in their prosecution that evidenced reliance on § 212(c) before enactment. E.g., Restrepo v. McElroy, 369 F.3d 627, 634-35 (2d Cir. 2004); Ponnapula v. Ashcroft, 373 F.3d 480, 494-96 (3d. Cir. 2004). Second, two circuits, the Third and the Tenth have criticized the majority of circuits for requiring a showing of actual detrimental reliance and have only required objectively reasonable reliance. Id. at 489-90; Hem v. Maurer, 458 F.3d 1185, 1197 (10th Cir. 2006). The Fourth Circuit has gone further and not required a showing of reliance at all, reasoning, in part, that it is always reasonable to rely on governing law.

Olatunji v. Ashcroft, 387 F.3d 383, 389-96 (4th Cir. 2004). De Horta Garcia attempts to rely on these alternative approaches, but his arguments are far too cursory to reach the compelling reason we require before revisiting circuit precedent. See Santos v. United States, 461 F.3d 886, 891 (7th Cir. 2006)."


Gao v. Mukasey, Immigration Asylum; motion to reopen; equitable
tolling March 11, 2008

Gao v. Mukasey No. 06-4431 March 11, 2008 (POSNER)
Oral Argument | Full Text
No. 06-1931: Gao v. Mukasey

Where an asylum applicant waited 75 days to file an untimely motion to reopen, equitable tolling does not excuse the lengthy delay.

"The petition was filed on the 106th day, which was the 75th or 76th day after the petitioner discovered that he had a ground for filing a petition to reopen. The preparation of such a petition does not require an elaborate investigation. All that is required is that the petitioner submit an affidavit explaining (1)(a) what his former counsel was hired to do and (b) how he failed, (2) affirming that the petitioner has notified the former counsel of his allegations of ineffective assistance and given counsel an opportunity to respond, (3) attaching the lawyer's response, if any, and (4) indicating whether the petitioner has filed his complaint about his former counsel with the appropriate disciplinary authorities.

In re Lozada, 19 I. & N. Dec. 637 (BIA 1988); see also Patel v. Gonzales, 496 F.3d 829, 830 (7th Cir. 2007); Benslimane v. Gonzales, 430 F.3d 828, 831 (7th Cir. 2005); Yang v. Gonzales, 478 F.3d 133, 142 (2d Cir. 2007). Obtaining the necessary information should not take two and a half months-at least not normally; and the petitioner has failed to point to any circumstances that made this the abnormal case in which a diligent attempt to comply with the 90-day deadline would have failed, in which event an appeal to equitable tolling would lie."

Petition Denied.

Hussain v. Mukasey No. 07-3688 & 07-3832 March 6, 2008 (POSNER)
Oral Argument | Full Text
No. 07-3688 & 07-3832: Hussain v. Mukasey

Where an alien obtained entry by fraud, the government need not separately allege that the alien engaged in terrorism as grounds for denying asylum.

"Although Hussain was found removable for engaging in terrorist activity, it was not a ground stated in the charge that initiated the removal proceeding against him, and so, he argues, it cannot be the basis for barring him from seeking cancellation of removal. But all that the statutory bar requires is that the alien be removable on grounds of terrorism.

8 U.S.C. § 1229b(c)(4). That makes sense because one purpose of the terrorism statute is to bar forms of post-removal relief to aliens who have been ordered removed on a lesser ground, such as fraudulent entry. As held in such cases as Salviejo-Fernandez v. Gonza- les, 455 F.3d 1063, 1065-66 (9th Cir. 2006), and Brown v. Ashcroft, 360 F.3d 346, 352-53 (2d Cir. 2004), that purpose does not require that involvement in terrorism be the stated ground of removal."

Petitions Denied.

Viracacha v. Mukasey No. 07-1548 March 3, 2008 (EASTERBROOK)
Oral Argument | Full Text
No. 07-1548: Viracacha v. Mukasey

Ct. of Appeals lacked jurisdiction to consider alien's appeal of Bd.'s denial of alien's asylum application based on fact that said petition had been filed nearly three years after applicable one-year deadline for filing asylum claims. Under 8 USC sec. 1158(a)(3), Ct. of Appeals is generally precluded from considering Bd. denials of untimely asylum applications, and alien's appeal failed to contain either constitutional question or question of law where alien merely challenged IJ's determination that any change in Columbian conditions was not material.

Judicial review under 8 U.S.C. 1252 (a)(2)(D) is limited to questions of law.

“Provisions foreclosing judicial review of particular administrative decisions are common. The most famous such exclusion is in the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946, 5 U.S.C. §701(a)(2) (decisions ‘committed to agency discretion by law’ are not judicially reviewable), and to our knowledge no serious argument has ever been made that §701(a)(2) is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has applied it repeatedly without a single Justice expressing doubt about its validity (though there is often debate about whether a given question has been so “committed”). See, e.g., Lincoln v. Vigil, 508 U.S. 182 (1993); Heckler v. Chaney, 470 U.S. 821 (1985). Given the preservation of legal and constitutional claims in §1252(a)(2)(D), the preclusive effect of §1158(a)(3) is less sweeping than that of the APA. The use that the panel in Ramadan was able to make of the “canon of avoiding constitutional questions” shows why many thoughtful people think the canon a bad one—for constitutional questions lurk everywhere, and judges who seek to avoid them can end up rewriting statutes that would be deemed perfectly valid if the question were faced and resolved. See Henry J. Friendly, Benchmarks 210 (1967); William K. Kelley, Avoiding Constitutional Questions as a Three-Branch Problem, 86 Cornell L. Rev. 831 (2001).”

Negrete-Rodriguez v. Mukasey No. 06-1931 March 3, 2008. (MANION)
Oral Argument | Full Text
No. 06-1931: Nerete-Rodriguez v. Mukasey

Petition for review of a removal order involving a determination that petitioner was ineligible for cancellation of removal is denied where the BIA properly categorized petitioner's Illinois felon-in-possession conviction as an aggravated felony.

A state court conviction for felon in possession of a firearm is an aggravated felony.

“The Illinois statute under which Negrete was convicted, 720 ILCS 5/24-1.1(a), is clearly the state law counterpart to § 922(g)(1). Although not ‘mere surplusage,’ a jurisdictional element does little more than ensure that the conduct regulated in a federal criminal statute is within the federal government’s limited power to proscribe, thereby preventing the federal government from usurping power from the ‘States [who] possess primary authority for defining and enforcing the criminal law.’ Brecht v. Abrahamson, 507 U.S. 619, 635 (1993). The statutory scheme expressly includes the state equivalent of a § 922(g)(1) offense in the definition of ‘aggravated felony.’ The only purpose of the commerce element of § 922(g)(1) is to obtain federal jurisdiction over the crime. Clearly Congress did not intend an element not necessary in state law to be the factor determining whether the state offense can be considered the equivalent of a § 922(g)(1) offense. That would likely eliminate the intended inclusion of most state statutes, since states do not operate under the same jurisdictional constraints as the federal government.

Negrete does list several Illinois criminal statutes that he argues incorporate an element of affecting commerce.

See, e.g., 720 ILCS 5/24-3.5(c) (unlawful purchase of a firearm); 720 ILCS 5/24-3.4 (unlawful sale of firearms by liquor licensee); 720 ILCS 5/24-3 (unlawful sale of a firearm); 720 ILCS 5/24-1(a)(7) (prohibiting, among other things, the sale of a ‘machine gun,’ sawed-off shotgun, or explosive device); 720 ILCS 5/24-3.3 (prohibiting, among other things, the sale of firearms on school premises); 720 ILCS 5/24-2.1(a) (prohibiting, among other things, the sale of firearm projectiles). An examination of those statutes, however, only confirms the previous point. While some offenses committed under those statutes may involve commerce, none of those statutes contains an express element of affecting commerce, which is what Negrete is arguing that § 101(a)(43)(E)(ii) requires for his state felon-in-possession conviction to count as an aggravated felony. Furthermore, Negrete’s citation to those statutes misses the mark. The question is not whether a state could conceivably create a felon-in-possession offense that contains an element of affecting commerce. Rather, it is whether Congress meant to limit the phrase ‘offense described in section 922(g)(1)’ contained in § 101(a)(43)(E)(ii) only to state offenses that have such an element. Nothing in the text of the statute indicates that is what Congress intended. See Castillo, 244 F.3d at 1023.” Affirmed.

Khan v. Mukasey No. 07-1138 February 25, 2008. (KANNE)
Oral Argument | Full Text
07-1138: Khan v. Mukasey

Petition for review of a denial of a request for a discretionary waiver of inadmissibility and an application for an adjustment of status is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction where petitioner failed to raise any viable constitutional claim or question of law.

"Khan has has presented a 'flabby constitutional argument' in lieu of arguing that his statutory or regulatory right was violated. See Rehman v. Gonzales, 441 F.3d 506, 509 (7th Cir. 2006). While an alien has a Fifth Amendment right to due process in immigration proceedings, see Giday v. Gonzales, 434 F.3d 543, 547 (7th Cir. 2006) (citing Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292, 306 (1993)), it is well-established that a party complaining of a dueprocess violation must assert a liberty interest in order to maintain his due-process claim, see Cevilla v. Gonzales, 446 F.3d 658, 662 (7th Cir. 2006). As a result, we have repeatedly held that "an alien's right to due process does not extend to proceedings that provide only such discretionary relief " because an appeal to discretion is not a substantive entitlement. Id. at 662; Hamdan v. Gonzales, 425 F.3d 1051, 1060-61 (7th Cir. 2005); see also Dave v. Ashcroft, 363 F.3d 649, 653 (7th Cir. 2004). Here, Khan was required to pursue discretionary relief-the waiver of inadmissibility-in order to remain in the country. Therefore, Khan has not asserted any liberty interest, and as a result, he cannot maintain his constitutional due-process claim." Dismissed.

Tchemkou v.Mukasey No. 06-2638 February 22, 2008 (WILLIAMS)
Oral Argument | Full Text
06-2638: Tchemkou v. Mukasey

After the grant of a petition for review of a BIA decision, petitioner's motion for attorney's fees and costs is granted where the government's position in the underlying action was not substantially justified.

Derezinski v. Mukasey No. 07-1221 February 20, 2008 (POSNER)
Oral Argument | Full Text
Derezinski v. Mukasey No. 07-1221

Petition for review of a denial of a second motion to reopen removal proceedings conducted in absentia is denied where there were no changed circumstances that would justify a reopening and the petitioner could not prove that he did not receive notice of the original hearing.

Bd. did not err in denying alien's motion to reopen removal proceedings where motion was filed 11 years after Bd. had entered deportation order in absentia. While alien argued that he never received Bd.'s notice of deportation hearing, Bd. was entitled to find that alien had evaded receipt of Bd.'s notice where: (1) Bd. sent notice via certified mail that was returned "unclaimed"; (2) according to alien, he was told by postal officials that a parcel in his name had been returned to sender; and (3) plaintiff should have contacted immigration authorities at that time to learn whether any time or place of hearing had been set.

Gaberov v. Mukasey No. 07-1417, February 19, 2008 (EVANS)
Oral Argument | Full Text
Gaberov v. Mukasey No. No. 07-1417

Petition for review of a denial of a motion to reopen immigration proceedings is granted where the evidence that petitioner presented of the BIA's failure to send him notice of an earlier denial of his application for asylum, coupled with his demonstration of due diligence, entitled him to equitable tolling of the 90 day time-limit to file a motion to reopen.

Wood v. Mukasey No. 06-2550 February 14, 2008. (SYKES)
Oral Argument | Full Text 06-2550: Wood, Lolita v. Mukasey

Petition for review of a denial of a continuance in removal hearings and a denial of a discretionary adjustment of status is denied where the court does not have jurisdiction over continuance and adjustment of status decisions, and the BIA properly exercised its appellate-review authority over discretionary issues when it determined petitioner did not merit a status adjustment.

The BIA does not exceed its authority by reaching and deciding an adjustment-of-status question, even though the IJ did not address it.

"Provided the BIA can do so without additional fact-finding, 8 C.F.R. § 1003.1(d)(3)(iv), we see no reason why it must avoid issues of discretion in an appeal because they were never reached by the IJ. Although this proviso is potentially important, in Wood's case the BIA did not stray from the administrative record; it premised the exercise of its discretion on the IJ's finding that Wood falsely portrayed herself as Bendikas's wife for purposes of asylum during the January 2003 hearing. We conclude the BIA acted within the scope of its appellate jurisdiction when it denied Wood the discretionary relief for which she unsuccessfully sought a continuance before the IJ."

Garcia-Meza v. Mukasey No. 07-2215 February 5, 2008. (WILLIAMS)
Oral Argument | Full Text 07-2215: Garcia-Meza, Carlos v. Mukasey

Petition for review of a final order of removal, arising from a conviction for petitioner's grabbing a police officer's fingers and twisting them, is granted and the matter remanded where the BIA's finding that petitioner's state crime of "aggravated battery of a peace officer" was a crime of moral turpitude, was based on a misapprehension of Illinois law.

Bd. erred in ordering removal of alien/lawful permanent resident under 8 USC sec. 1227(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) based on alien's Illinois conviction on charge of aggravated battery of peace officer that Bd. deemed to be 'crime of moral turpitude.' Alien's conviction concerned battery of police officer that did not result in bodily harm or violence, and thus remand was required since Bd. based its decision on mistaken belief that alien's conviction contained element of bodily harm.

Battery of a police officer is not a crime of moral turpitude absent bodily harm or intent to cause harm or use violence.

"Illinois follows the common law rule that any contact, however slight, may constitute a battery. See Acevedo v. Canterbury, 457 F.3d 721, 725 (7th Cir. 2006). At oral argument, we posed the hypothetical that in Illinois, an individual angry at being given a parking ticket might crumple up the ticket and throw it on the ground and face charges of aggravated battery if the ticket hit the issuing officer's shoe. We would be surprised if the BIA concluded that such behavior is 'inherently base, vile, or depraved,' or that it would 'shock the public's conscience.' In the language of this court's decision in Mei, the magnitude of the loss it causes is small (there is no injury, although the officer might have hurt feelings), and it does not arouse great public indignation (everybody hates parking tickets). We also asked the parties for a citation of any decision in which battery or assault of a police officer without violence or bodily harm was found to be a crime of moral turpitude. The government pointed to Mei, in which we found that aggravated (meaning high-speed) fleeing from an officer is such a crime. But that case did not involve an assault or battery statute, and regardless, the difference between a 100+ mile-per-hour car chase and a little finger grabbing seems obvious enough."

"At the end of the day, it is the Board's prerogative to decide whether Garcia-Meza committed a crime of moral turpitude. For the reasons we have explained, its decision that his offense is such a crime is based on a misapprehension of Illinois law and must be vacated."

Eke v. Mukasey
No. 06-3391 January 7, 2008.

Pet. for Review, Order of Bd. of Immigration Appeals. Petition denied. Bd. did not err in finding that aliens' Illinois conviction on charge of conspiracy to violate Illinois identity fraud statute by attempting to purchase automobile constituted "aggravated felony" under 8 USC sec. 1101(a)(43)(M)(i) in govt. petition for summary removal. Value of vehicle was more than $10,000, and fact that alien never actually acquired vehicle was not material since Bd. could look to intended loss to satisfy requirements of sec. 1101(a)(43)(M)(i).

Petition for review of a denial of withholding of removal is denied over the petitioner's arguments that: 1) his convictions were not for crimes that fall within the definition of "aggravated felony"; 2) he should not have been required to provide corroborating evidence of his homosexuality; 3) the Board should have considered the pattern of persecution against homosexuals in Nigeria; and 4) his due process rights were violated when the IJ insisted on conducting the hearing on the merits by video conference.

Hussain v. Mukasey
No. 07-2448 December 18, 2007

Denial of a petition for habeas corpus alleging that petitioner's detention pending removal proceedings deprived him of liberty without due process of law is affirmed where: 1) the immigration code bars the court from ordering the release of an alien pending judicial review of the order of removal; and 2) the principle that an alien may be released if, six months after the beginning of the removal period there is no significant likelihood of removal in the reasonably foreseeable future, does not apply when judicial review of the removal order is pending.

Dist. Ct. did not err in denying alien's habeas petition, claiming that his 2.5-year detention pending resolution of his removal proceeding deprived him of liberty without due process. Alien's petition was rendered moot when IJ subsequently entered order directing that alien be removed contingent to govt. compliance with Convention Against Torture provisions. Moreover, Ct. of Appeals could not order alien's release pending its review of validity of contingent removal order.

Mekhael v. Mukasey
11/16/07 No. 06-4285

Christian Lebanese citizen's petition for review of a denial of a motion to reopen asylum proceedings is granted and the matter remanded where BIA failed to give reasoned consideration to post-hearing evidence, including the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, as well as increased violence against Christians in Lebanon following the publication in Denmark of cartoons caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad.

Zheng v. Mukasey
11/09/07 Case Number: 07-3673

A motion seeking a stay of petitioner's removal to China pending review of the dismissal of his original asylum claim and a denial of his motion to reopen the asylum proceedings is denied as: 1) the motion was untimely as far as the original asylum claim was concerned; and 2) petitioner failed to establish that he was entitled to a stay as to the other claim.

Bolante v. Keisler
10/31/07 Case Number: 07-2550

A motion for release on bail by an asylum applicant is denied where: 1) a grant of a bail would conflict with the Attorney General's non-reviewable discretion to deny parole to asylum-seekers; and 2) the petitioner's entry visa was revoked prior to his arrival in the U.S., thus he was not lawfully admitted to the U.S. for constitutional purposes, and had no right to be released.

Mohammad Hussain v. Keisler
10/24/07 Case Number: 06-2932

Petition for review of an order of voluntary departure is denied where: 1) petitioner filed an asylum application but later withdrew it in exchange for a longer period of voluntary departure; and 2) the court lacks jurisdiction over petitioner's claim that his obligation to register pursuant to the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System led to the initiation of removal proceedings against him and violated his right to equal protection of the laws.

US v. Pacheco-Diaz
10/23/07 Case Number: 05-2264

Sentence for illegal reentry is affirmed over defendant's arguments
that: 1) a prior Illinois conviction for simple possession of marijuana
was insufficient to trigger an eight-level enhancement; 2) the district
court misapprehended the scope of its discretion when it declined to
further reduce his sentence for acceptance of responsibility; and 3) his
sentence was unreasonable because the court failed to meaningfully
consider the unwarranted disparity between his sentence and the
sentences of similarly situated defendants in fast-track jurisdictions.

Potdar v. Kiesler, No. 06-2441 (10/10/07).

Petition for Review, order of Bd. of Immigration Appeals. Petition
denied. Petition for review of an order vacating an earlier order to
reopen removal proceedings is denied where the court did not have
jurisdiction to review the denial of petitioner's motion for a

Ct. of Appeals lacked jurisdiction to consider alien's appeal of Bd.'s
order denying alien's request to reopen and terminate exclusion hearing
in order to allow alien to proceed on his application for adjustment to
permanent resident status. Alien's motion to reopen was essentially
request for continuance of exclusion proceedings, which, under Ali,
precludes any review of denial by Ct. of Appeals.

Tariq v. Keisler, No. 06-2518 (10/9/07). Petition for Review, Order of
Bd. of Immigration Appeals. Petition denied.

Record contained sufficient evidence to support IJ's denial of asylum
request by alien (native of Pakistan) where alien alleged that he and
his family were persecuted by creditor while in Pakistan, and that he
would be subject to future persecution based on his Western upbringing
if forced to return to native country. Alien's asylum petition, which
was filed more than 1 year after alien reached age of majority, was
untimely. Moreover, alien could not base application for withholding of
removal on acts of creditor where: (1) creditor was mere private
citizen; (2) alien could not demonstrate that harm done by creditor was
on account of alien's membership in particular social group; and (3)
alien failed to present evidence that his Western upbringing would cause
individuals in Pakistan to attribute any political opinion to him.

Ali v. Gonzales, No. 06-3240 Petition for review of a denial of a
request for a continuance and subsequent motion for reconsideration is
dismissed for lack of jurisdiction where: 1) the jurisdiction-stripping
provision of section 242(a)(2)(B)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality
Act (INA) generally precludes judicial review of continuance decisions
of immigration judges; and 2) selective prosecution claims by aliens are
largely barred by 8 U.S.C. section 1252(g), and petitioner's claims of
discrimination were insufficient to invoke the exception for outrageous


Moab v. Gonzales, No. 06-2710 (9/13/07). Petition for Review, Order of Bd. Of Immigration Appeals. Petition granted.

Record failed to support Bd.’s finding that alien was not credible in his asylum and withholding of removal applications where alien alleged that he endured beatings in his native country (Liberia) because he was homosexual. While Bd.’s credibility determination was based largely on fact that alien failed to mention his homosexuality in airport interview, airport interviews are not always reliable indicators of credibility, and alien’s alleged homosexuality was consistently mentioned in his asylum application.

Kadia v. Gonzalez No. 06-1299 (9/7/07). Petition for Review, Bd. of Immigration Appeals. Petition granted.

Record failed to support IJ's denial of asylum petition by alien (native of Cameroon) who alleged that he would be persecuted because of his political beliefs if forced to return to native country. While IJ found alien to be incredible based on perceived inconsistencies between his testimony and his statements made in asylum application, Ct. determined that said inconsistencies either pertained to trivial facts or were not in fact inconsistent statements. IJ also improperly questioned alien by failing to give alien full opportunity to explain events supporting his asylum claim.

Peralta-Cabrera v. Gonzalez, No. 06-2254 (9/7/07). Petition for Review, Order of Bd. of Immigration Appeals. Petition granted.

Bd. erred in denying alien's motion to reopen asylum proceedings based on contention that alien was entitled to new hearing because he never received notice of asylum hearing and because deportation order was entered in absentia. Record showed that notice was sent via certified mail to address given by alien, but that, pursuant to post office policy, post office never attempted to deliver said notice because it was not addressed to alien "in care of" actual home owner. Ct. further found that govt., which was aware that alien was staying temporarily with home owner, had responsibility to ensure that notice would be delivered in compliance with postal policy.

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