BIA Unpubs, Dec. 30-31, 2013

From Ben Winograd : " Jose Manuel Isabel Diaz , A205 500 422 (BIA Dec. 30, 2013) In this unpublished decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) held that the phrase “reason to believe” in INA 212(a)(2)(C) was akin to “probable cause,” and that the respondent was...

IRAC Releases 2014 Edition of Index of Unpublished BIA Decisions

Ben Winograd writes: "The Immigrant & Refugee Appellate Center (IRAC) is pleased to announce the release of the 2014 edition of its Index of Unpublished Decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals . About the Index The Index was created from an ongoing review of more than 6...

BIA Sets Oral Argument in Vides-Casanova Case: Feb. 6, 2014

"The U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals will hear arguments on the appeal by former Minister of Defense of El Salvador, General Carlos Eugenio Vides-Casanova, of an immigration court decision ordering him to be removed from the U.S. for his role in widespread human rights abuses committed in El Salvador...

Unpub. BIA Asylum Victory, Cameroon, Political Opinion

"[T]he Immigration Judge found that, despite her finding that the respondent lacked credibility, the evidence of record - to particularly include the credible testimony of one of the respondent's witnesses, Mr. Jean Claude Nkem-Kong-Nkem -otherwise established that the respondent had experienced...

Unpub. BIA Asylum Victory, Somalia, FGM

"In sum, we conclude that the respondent met her burden of proof for asylum based on suffering FGM and that she merits relief as a matter of discretion." - Matter of X-, Dec. 31, 2013 . [Hats off to Kim Hunter !]

New BIA Precedent Decisions on Social Group, Social Visibility

Both on Feb. 7, 2014: Matter of W-G-R-, 26 I&N Dec. 208 (BIA 2014) - (1) In order to clarify that the “social visibility” element required to establish a cognizable “particular social group” does not mean literal or “ocular” visibility, that element is renamed...

Unpub. BIA Suppression Victory: Matter of Lara-Torres (Egregious Conduct by NSA)

"[T]he Immigration Judge correctly concluded that the evidence obtained by officers of the National Security Agency (NSA) on March 31, 2010, with regard to the respondent's immigration status, which prompted officers of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain the...

Unpublished BIA Decision of the Month (January 2014)

Ben Winograd writes : "Our featured unpublished decision for January 2014 involves an issue as important as it is convoluted: when immigration judges may consult conviction records—such as an indictment or plea colloquy—to determine whether a noncitizen was convicted of a removable...

Summary of February 6, 2014 BIA Oral Argument: Matter of Vides Casanova

Carolyn Patty Blum, Senior Legal Adviser, Center for Justice and Accountability, writes : "At oral argument before a three judge panel of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“Board” or “BIA”), Diego Handel, lawyer for Eugenio Vides Casanova, former Director of the National...

CA9 Rejects Matter of Richardson: USA v. Garcia-Santana (Conspiracy Requires Overt Act)

"... [ Matter of] Richardson [25 I&N Dec. 226 (BIA 2010) ] interpreted “conspiracy” under § 1101(a)(43)(U) as referring to the common-law definition, and thus as omitting any overt-act requirement. ... We cannot accept this interpretation. ... We conclude ... that the BIA’s...

BIA on 212(c): Matter of Abdelghany, Int. Dec. 3796, 26 I&N Dec. 254 (BIA 2014)

(1) A lawful permanent resident who has accrued 7 consecutive years of lawful unrelinquished domicile in the United States and who is removable or deportable by virtue of a plea or conviction entered before April 24, 1996, is eligible to apply for discretionary relief under former section 212(c) of the...

Unpub. BIA Stop-Time Remand Victory: Matter of Mendoza-Olivas

Steve Spurgin writes: "[ Linked here is an unpub .] BIA decision in which the Board said that an admission of a stop time crime that was vacated on Padilla grounds in a removal proceeding for a LPR does not stop time unless the respondent is warned in advance about the elements of the offense, citing...

CA3 on Meaningful Consideration of Evidence by BIA: Zhu v. Attorney General

"Because the BIA’s opinion did not reflect meaningful consideration of much of the evidence that Zhu submitted in support of her motion, we will grant the petition for review, vacate the order denying the motion to reopen, and remand to the BIA for further proceedings." - Zhu v. Attorney...

IRAC Releases March 2014 Update to Index of Unpublished BIA Decisions

"IRAC has released the March 2014 update to its Index of Unpublished Decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals . The Index is organized by subject matter and contains links to helpful rulings selected from an ongoing review of more than 6,000 unpublished BIA decisions. Individuals who have...

Matter of Chavez-Alvarez, Int. Dec. No. 3797, 26 I&N Dec. 274 (BIA 2014)

Matter of Chavez-Alvarez , Int. Dec. No. 3797, 26 I&N Dec. 274 (BIA 2014) (1) Adjustment of status constitutes an “admission” for purposes of determining an alien’s removability under section 237(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2...

Ben Winograd's Unpublished BIA Decision of the Month (February 2014)

"Our featured unpublished decision for February 2014 involves waivers of inadmissibility under Section 212(k) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, a little-known remedy available to noncitizens who unwittingly seek to enter the country on invalidly issued immigrant visas. The respondent in...

Unpub. BIA Descamps CIMT Victory in Arizona: Matter of Sainz-Rivera (unpub.)

"In this unpublished decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissed the charge of deportability and held that Ariz. Rev. Stat. 28-1383(A)(1) — which criminalizes driving under the influence after one’s license has been suspended, canceled, revoked, refused or restricted —...

Unpub. BIA on Asylum, Mexico, Social Group, Gender Identity: Matter of M-G-O-

Ben Winograd writes: "In this unpublished decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) found the respondent, a citizen of Mexico, qualified for withholding of removal based on his membership in a particular social group consisting of effeminate gay males with female gender identities. The Board...

BIA: No Readjustment Under 209(b): Matter of C-J-H-

An alien whose status has been adjusted from asylee to lawful permanent resident cannot subsequently readjust status under section 209(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1159(b) (2012). - Matter of C-J-H-, Mar. 27, 2014 .

Unpub. BIA on 245(k): Matter of Norra

"The only issue in this appeal is whether the respondent's failed to maintain "lawful status" such that they are not eligible for adjustment of status under section 245(a) of the Act. Specifically, the record reflects that the respondents filed for extensions of their nonimmigrant...

Unpub. BIA Refugee Waiver Victory: Bosnia

"As noted by the Immigration Judge the respondent's omissions are particularly concerning where, as here, the respondent failed to disclose his VRS service, as the organization, and specifically the Zvornik Infantry Brigade's 4th Infantry Battalion where the respondent served, was responsible...

DHS Tries to Deport, Continues to Detain, U.S. Citizen

Robinson Martinez has persuaded the BIA that he is an American citizen, but DHS is still detaining him and trying to deport him. Professor / investigative journalist Jacqueline Stevens has the story .

News Excerpts From the April 15, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

USCIS Clarifies “Reason to Believe” Standard for I-601A Provisional Waivers | On March 18, 2014, USCIS sent an e-mail to stakeholders seeking to cure confusion surrounding the regulation that prohibits the granting of provisional waivers to noncitizens who the agency has “reason...

IRAC Releases April 2014 Update to Index of Unpublished BIA Decisions

"IRAC has released the April 2014 update to its Index of Unpublished Decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals , which now contains decisions issued through April 3. Individuals who have purchased the 2014 edition of Index may download the updated version for no additional charge. The Index...

Unpub. BIA 212(c) Victory

Russell Abrutyn writes: "Here is a case that is all about persistence that I thought might be of interest to your readers. When the case began, the respondent, who had lawfully resided in the U.S. since 1969, appeared ineligible for relief under the then-current law. He was convicted of an aggravated...