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Immigration Law

Another CA5 Pereira / Niz-Chavez Remand: Parada v. Garland - Now Published!

Parada v. Garland

"[T]he BIA’s decision to deny Parada’s motion to reopen was based on a legally erroneous interpretation of the statutes governing Notices to Appear and the stop-time rule. The Supreme Court has since reinforced the holding of Pereira and held—again— that to trigger the stop-time rule, a Notice to Appear must come in the form of “a single document containing all the information an individual needs to know about his removal hearing.” Niz-Chavez v. Garland, 141 S. Ct. 1474, 1478, 1486 (2021). That did not occur in this case, as the Notices to Appear served on Parada and her daughter did not contain the time or date for their removal proceedings. Thus, because “[a] putative notice to appear that fails to designate the specific time or place of the noncitizen’s removal proceedings is not a ‘notice to appear under section 1229(a),’ and so does not trigger the stop-time rule,” Pereira, 138 S. Ct. at 2113–14 (quoting 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(d)(1)(A)), the deficient Notices to Appear received by the Paradas did not stop the clock for the Paradas. ...  [O]ne of two keys must fit before the stop-time rule can be unlocked: service of a valid Notice to Appear or commission of an enumerated offense. The latter has not occurred here as no one has asserted that either of the Paradas has committed such an offense. And we have already concluded that the former has not occurred because the Notices to Appear served on the Paradas lacked the time and date of their hearing. Thus, the stop-time-rule box remained locked, the Paradas’ clock never stopped, and they accrued the necessary 10 years to satisfy the physical-presence requirement for cancellation of removal. In so concluding, we agree with the Ninth Circuit [emphasis added] which also held that “[b]y its terms . . . the stop-time rule applies to only the two circumstances set out in the statute, and a final order of removal satisfies neither.” Quebrado Cantor, 17 F.4th at 871. ... To return to the analogy above, when Congress provided the two exceptions to the physical-presence requirement, it created all the keys that would fit. It did not additionally create a skeleton key that could fit when convenient. To conclude otherwise “would turn this principle on its head, using the existence of two exceptions to authorize a third very specific exception.” Quebrado Cantor, 17 F.4th at 874. Instead, “the ‘proper inference’ is that Congress considered which events ought to ‘stop the clock’ on a nonpermanent resident’s period of continuous physical presence and settled, in its legislative judgment, on only two.” Id. (quoting Johnson, 529 U.S. at 58). Lacking either here, the BIA committed a legal error in concluding otherwise and finding that the Paradas did not satisfy the physical-presence requirement to be eligible for cancellation of removal. For the foregoing reasons, the petition for review is GRANTED and the case is REMANDED to the BIA for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. ... IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent pay to petitioners the costs on appeal [emphasis added] to be taxed by the Clerk of this Court."

[Yet another victory for Superlitigator Raed Gonzalez!  Who else could persuade CA5 to agree with CA9, and get an award of costs?]