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Immigration Law

Unpub. BIA Pardon Remand Victory, Alabama (Jan. 29, 2018)

Matter of X-, Jan. 29, 2018, unpub. - "The Board entered the final administrative decision on July 19, 2017, dismissing the lawful permanent resident respondent's appeal of the Immigration Judge's decision pretermitting his cancellation of removal application and ordering him removed to Antigua and Barbuda in connection with his criminal convictions, including, inter alia, a 2001 aggravated felony burglary conviction, 2004 convictions for controlled substance possession and receiving stolen property, and a 201 I theft by deception conviction. The respondent seeks reopening, averring that he is now eligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a), because the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles fully and unconditionally pardoned him of these convictions (Respondent's Mot., tab B). See Matter of Nolan, 19 I&N Dec. 539, 541-42 (BIA 1988) (recognizing that certain states delegate full and unconditional pardon authority to boards); section 237(a)(2)(A)(vi) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(vi) (waiving removability charges based on convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude and aggravated felonies). The Department of Homeland Security has not responded to the motion. See 8 C.F.R. § 1003.2(g)(3).

Under the circumstances, we will sua sponte reopen the proceedings, and remand the record to the Immigration Judge for further consideration of the respondent's removability in light of the evidence of the pardoned convictions, and for consideration of his potential eligibility for relief from removal. See 8 C.F.R. § 1003.2(a); see also Matter of J-J-, 21 I&N Dec. 976,984 (BIA 1997)."

[Hats way off to my colleague at Ware | Immigration, Samantha Hechtman!]