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Immigration Law

CA7 on 212(c), Rehabilitation: Avila-Ramirez v. Holder

"An immigration judge found Carlos Avila-Ramirez “credible” and gave “full weight to his testimony” at a hearing requesting discretionary relief from removal. That testimony included Avila-Ramirez’s denial that he had committed any underlying wrongdoing during the times he had been arrested or questioned since 1990. He was never convicted of any crimes resulting from those arrests, and the police reports the government introduced at the hearing were uncorroborated. Yet the immigration judge and Board of Immigration Appeals relied on these uncorroborated arrest reports to find that Avila-Ramirez had failed to show “rehabilitation” after a 1990 conviction, and this failure was a significant factor in the decision to deny him discretionary relief from removal under former § 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. We conclude that in these circumstances, the BIA committed legal error by failing to follow its own binding precedent and giving substantial weight to an arrest report absent a conviction or corroborating evidence of the allegations contained therein. So we grant the petition for review." - Avila-Ramirez v. Holder, Aug. 21, 2014.  [Hats off to Charles Roth!]