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Board certified former U.S. immigration judge and former INS regional counsel practicing immigration and nationality law in SouthFlorida, nationwide and throughout the world

Case Summaries

Immigration Law

[04/20] US v. Rivera-Muniz
Sentence for guilty plea to reentering the United States without authorization after having been deported or removed in violation of 8 U.S.C. section 1326(a), enhanced by section 1326(b)(2), is affirmed where Cal. Penal Code section 192(a) matches the generic definition of 'manslaughter' and is therefore categorically a crime of violence under section 2L1.2(b)(1)(A)(ii) of the Sentencing Guidelines.

[04/17] Minto v. Sessions
In a petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals' decision finding him inadmissible under 8 U.S.C. section 1182(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) because he lacked a valid entry document at the time of application for admission, the petition is denied where: 1) petitioner is an immigrant who lacked a valid entry document; and 2) petitioner is deemed by law to have made a continuing application for admission because he was in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) without admission or parole on November 28, 2009, the date United States immigration laws became applicable to the CNMI.

[04/12] US v. Zhu
Convictions of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud, 18 U.S.C. section 371, and aiding and abetting fraud and misuse of immigration documents, 18 U.S.C. section 1546(a), stemming from a green card sting operation, are affirmed where the district court discharged its duty to conduct the trial 'in a general atmosphere of impartiality,' Castner, 50 F.3d at 1272, and the court's comments and interruptions during defendant's presentation of evidence, either by themselves or taken together as a whole, did not undermine the impartial quality of the proceedings.

[04/05] Miranda v. Sessions
In a petition for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision ordering petitioner removed based on his conviction of a drug felony, arguing that the doctrine of res judicata should have barred the second IJ and the BIA from readjudicating the issue of his citizenship, finding that he is not a U.S. citizen, and ordering him removed, the petition is denied where: 1) the applicability of res judicata becomes immaterial before this court because of the jurisdictional limitations imposed by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA); and 2) petitioner has failed to meet his burden of proving that he is a U.S. citizen, thus the jurisdictional bar in section 1252(a)(2)(C) applies and precludes judicial review of the final order of removal against him.

[03/31] Ramirez v. Brown
In an action challenging the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service's decision finding him ineligible to adjust to lawful permanent resident status on the ground that because he entered the U.S. without inspection he was not 'inspected and admitted or paroled' as required by 8 U.S.C. section 1255(a), the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of plaintiff is affirmed where under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) statute, 8 U.S.C. section 1254a(f)(4), a TPS recipient is deemed to be in lawful status and thereby has satisfied the requirements to become a nonimmigrant, including inspection and admission, for the purposes of adjustment of status.

[03/27] Marin-Marin v. Sessions
In a petition for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision finding petition removable based on his unlawful entry into the U.S., the petition is denied where, because removal is not punitive, neither the Fifth Amendment's due process clause nor the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment requires consideration and weighing as to the proportionality of removal against the grounds for removability.

[03/27] People v. Patterson
In an appeal brought by a criminal defendant seeking, who, after pleading guilty to a drug possession charge, learned that the plea rendered him subject to mandatory deportation, seeks to withdraw his guilty plea under Penal Code section 1018 on grounds of mistake or ignorance, the Court of Appeals' denial of the motion to withdraw the plea is reversed where the receipt of the standard statutory advisement that a criminal conviction 'may' have adverse immigration consequences, Pen. Code section 1016.5, does not bar a noncitizen defendant from seeking to withdraw a guilty plea on that basis.

[03/24] Eleri v. Sessions
In a petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals' decision finding petitioner ineligible for a waiver of inadmissibility under the aggravated felony bar, the petition is denied where: 1) because petitioner was admitted to the U.S. as a conditional permanent resident, he is 'an alien who has previously been admitted to the U.S. as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence'; and thus 2) petitioner was ineligible for a waiver of inadmissibility pursuant to 8 U.S.C. section 1182(h) because he had an aggravated felony conviction.

[03/17] Gil v. Sessions
In a petition action seeking review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeal (BIA), brought by a petitioner who was born in the Dominican Republic and admitted to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident but whose parents never married, the petition is denied where was not a 'child' eligible for derivative citizenship because he was not 'legitimated' within the meaning of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

[03/13] Cruz v. Sessions
In a petition for review of a final order of removal entered by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), brought by a citizen of Honduras, the petition is granted where her familial relationship with her husband necessarily was one central reason for the persecution and fear of future persecution established by petitioner, thereby meeting the statutory 'nexus requirement' for asylum provided in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) in 8 U.S.C. section 1158(b)(1)(B)(i).

[03/10] US v. Martinez
Sentence for being a removed alien found in the U.S., 8 U.S.C. section 1326, is vacated where: 1) the district judge's failure to notify and consult with defense counsel before responding to a jury question seeking guidance on the significance of the special finding as to the defendant's removal date violated Fed. R. Crim. P. 43(a) and the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to counsel; and 2) the error was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt because much of the government's documentary evidence concerning the defendant's prior removal contained demonstrable errors, and because defense counsel, had she been consulted, would have specifically requested that the district court instruct the jury that the government was required to prove the removal date beyond a reasonable doubt.

[03/09] Chavez-Alvarez v. Attorney Gen. of the U.S.
In a petition for review of a second decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) that petitioner be removed, among other things, for committing sodomy while serving in the United States Army, the petition is granted where: 1) the BIA incorrectly reasoned that the President--through his delegated authority to define punishments for those who commit military crimes--essentially could create the definition of those crimes himself; and 2) this is a power reserved to Congress.

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