REN ET AL. V. USCIS
Upholding USCIS' denial of I-140 petition for multinational manager/executive where the petition lacked specific details concerning the putative beneficiary’s job-related tasks.
Upholding USCIS' denial of I-140 petition for multinational manager/executive where the petition lacked specific details concerning the putative beneficiary’s job-related tasks.
Holding that Virginia would recognize a foreign divorce, as a matter of comity, even where the parties were both residing in the U.S. at the time of the divorce.
Holding that Virginia identity theft, Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-186.3(A)(2), is a crime involving moral turpitude because it requires intent to defraud.
Ruling that BIA's decision that Petitioner, who was previously the recipient of a K-1 visa, could not adjust her status without an affidavit of support from her former husband was entitled to Chevron deference and upholding Petitioner's inadmissibility based on public charge grounds.
Holding that the Immigration Judge (IJ) sufficiently explained her finding that Petitioner was competent to participate in his removal proceedings where IJ held two competency hearings and reviewed Petitioner's medical records and testimony.
Ruling that Petitioner demonstrated the requisite diligence for equitable tolling of the deadline for a motion to reconsider since it was reasonable for Petitioner, who lived in Jamaica, worked a low-wage job, had no internet access, and faced difficulty obtaining pro bono counsel, to not have discovered the basis for reconsideration, Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204 (2018), Sessions v Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204, 1223 (2018). Sessions v Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204, 1223 (2018). Sessions v Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204, 1223 (2018). Sessions v Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204, 1223 (2018). Sessions v Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204, 1223 (2018).Sessions v Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204, 1223 (2018).Sessions v Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204, 1223 (2018).prior to 2019. The Court held that the required diligence is reasonable, not maximum, diligence based on the totality of the circumstances and that the clock for the diligence analysis starts only after the event that gives rise to relief.
Holding that Fed. R. App. P. 26(c) does not extend the time to file a petition for review when the BIA serves its decision by mail because the rule is inapplicable to petitions for review.
Holding that Petitioner failed to show nexus between death threats from gang members and her relationship to her partner and that threats were instead based on perceived ownership of her partner's land.
Ruling that (1) Proposed PSG of "Salvadoran women who are witnesses to gang criminal activity and targeted because they filed a police report" lacked particularity and social distinction, (2) Petitioner was not a member of the proposed PSG of "Salvadoran women who are in a domestic relationship that they are unable to leave" because both of her past relationships had ended, and (3) Petitioner failed to offer any evidence of nexus between her past harm and family membership. The Court further declined to review the CAT claim because Petitioner did not raise it before the BIA.
Ruling that the IJ's failure to inform a pro se respondent of their right to appeal is a due process violation and because Petitioner showed prejudice, upholding the dismissal of the indictment for illegal reentry.
Holding that the BIA erred in failing to assess whether IJ's unprofessional conduct fell short of the standard articulated in Matter of Y-S-L-C, 26 I&N Dec. 688 (BIA 2015), and in only analyzing whether such conduct constituted a due process violation.
Holding that venue for petition for review was proper in the Fourth Circuit because the IJ was physically located in Virginia during the removal proceedings. The Court upheld the agency's denial of asylum and withholding of removal because the IJ's adverse credibility determination and conclusions with regard to the plausibility of Petitioner's assertions were supported by substantial evidence. The Court further determined for CAT relief that Petitioner failed to show that he'd more likely than not be tortured.
Affirming BIA's denial of asylum and withholding of removal because Petitioner failed to show that the Honduran government was unable or unwilling to protect her from her ex-husband where Petitioner received a protective order from a Peace Court in Honduras, but fled the country before local officials had an opportunity to enforce it.
Holding that administrative exhaustion was not required for judicial review of constitutional challenges to bond hearing procedures and that the class's claims concerning the burden of proof at bond hearings and the failure to consider alternatives to detention and ability to pay were not barred by 8 U.S.C. § 1226(e). The Court reversed the district court's grant of class-wide injunctive relief, holding that 8 U.S.C. § 1252(f)(1) limited its jurisdiction to "enjoin or restrain" the immigration laws on a class-wide basis. Finally, the Court determined that current bond procedures, which place the burden on the noncitizen and do not require consideration of alternatives to detention or ability to pay, do not violate the Due Process Clause. Judge Urbanski dissented.
Ruling that the Court had jurisdiction to review IJ's denial of asylum to two immigrants who entered the United States with fraudulent passports from a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and that the agency abused its discretion in denying Petitioners' motion to reopen their in absentia removal orders when it failed to address whether their alleged late arrival at their individual hearing constituted a failure to appear pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(b)(5).
Ruling that IJs are not required to apply a specific formula for aggregating likelihood of torture across sources for CAT claims and that here, the agency properly analyzed petitioner's risk of harm in the aggregate
Upholding the agency's denial of CAT relief on the basis that Petitioner failed to show that he would more likely than not be tortured with the acquiesence of the Honduran government because Petitioner's family has resided safely in Honduras and Petitioner had not received threats for an extended period of time, and Petitioner could possibly relocate within Honduras. Further, while the IJ referenced the incorrect standard of "willful acceptance" in passing, she applied the correct standard of "willful blindness" in substance.
Ruling that Petitioner failed to show a nexus between persecution from brother-in-law and Petitioner's familial relationship to her sister because the central reason for the persecution was Petitioner intervening to stop brother-in-law's abuse of her sister and the familial relationship was a superficial and merely incidental reason.
Holding that, because Petitioner's motion to reopen was filed within 90 days of his removal order, 8 C.F.R § 1003.23(b)(3) rather than § 1003.23(b)(4) applied and the agency should have evaluated whether Petitioner put forth evidence that was material and not previously available at the initial hearing. In addition, Zambrano v. Sessions, 878 F.3d 84 (4th Cir. 2017)'s changed circumstances framework applies even though the purported changed circumstances took place after the time-barred asylum application was filed and adjudicated.
Remanding to the Board for review of Petitioner’s eligibility for cancellation of removal in the first instance as a result of the Supreme Court’s intervening decision in Niz-Chavez v. Garland, 141 S. Ct. 1474, 1479-84 (2021).
Citing Niz-Chavez v. Garland, 141 S. Ct. 1478 (2021), the Court held that Petitioner's notice to appear failed to meet the requirements of 8 U.S.C. § 1229(a)(1), which requires the agency to provide a single document containing the date, time, and location of the initial hearing. However, Petitioner forfeited his prior argument that the agency’s failure to comply with § 1229(a) deprived the IJ of jurisdiction by not raising it before the Court and the Court lacked jurisdiction over Petitioner’s newly asserted non-jurisdictional claim that the IJ had authority to terminate his proceedings because he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies by raising it below.
Ruling that, in deciding Petitioner's CAT claim, the agency failed to aggregate likelihood of torture from all sources, as required by Rodriguez-Arias v. Whitaker, 915 F.3d 968, 973 (4th Cir. 2019), and remanding for additional proceedings.
Abrogating Matter of D-M-C-P-, 26 I&N Dec. 644 (BIA 2015) to hold that 8 C.F.R. § 1003.47(d) requires DHS to provide oral notification, a written biometrics notice, and instructions to asylum applicants but while DHS failed to provide a biometrics notice in this case, the IJ's fingerprint warning satisfied this requirement. The Court further concluded that the BIA did not err in affirming the IJ's conclusion that Mejia-Velasquez had abandoned her asylum application after failing to provide DHS with her biometrics. Judge Motz dissented.
Holding that an IJ’s decision upholding an adverse reasonable fear finding is subject to substantial evidence review and that the record compelled the conclusion that Petitioner suffered persecution on account of the protected ground of family membership. The Court also ruled that ability to relocate is a proper consideration in reasonable fear interviews but is only one of several non-exhaustive factors to consider for CAT relief. The Court declined to reach Petitioner's claim alleging denial of his right to counsel.
Holding that an appeal to the BIA does not divest the IJ of jurisdiction if the IJ merely issued a summary order denying asylum rather than an appealable decision. In addition, even if the BIA erred in resolving the issue without remanding the case to the IJ for a new decision, this decision was harmless because there is no reason to believe the IJ would change his decision denying relief and the BIA properly certified the case for appeal. Further, the IJ was justified in relying on Petitioner's concessions on removability and the facts necessary to sustain removability. Finally, the Court upheld the agency's denial of asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT relief, rejecting Petitioner's argument that the IJ denied asylum and withholding solely based on adverse credibility and the BIA denied CAT relief based only on ability to relocate.
Holding that the IJ abused his discretion in denying Garcia Cabrera's motion for a continuance on the basis that she failed to show good cause. The Court highlighted that both the BIA and IJ departed from established policies and precedent, including Matter of Sanchez Sosa, 25 I&N Dec. 807, 815 (BIA 2012),which held that movants who've filed a prima facie approvable application for a U visa warrant a favorable exercise of discretion for a continuance for a reasonable period of time, and the BIA failed to consider primary factors—as described in Matter of L-A-B-R, 27 I&N Dec. 405, 406 (A.G. 2018)-—that weighed in Garcia Cabrera's favor.
Holding that “prosecution witnesses” is not a particular social group because the context of the term is open to multiple meanings and therefore lacks particularity. In addition, based on the evidence presented, Herrera-Martinez did not meet his burden for withholding of removal under the CAT because substantial evidence supported the agency's adverse credibility finding and he failed to meet his burden with independent evidence.
Holding that the BIA erred when it determined that the proposed particular social group of “witnesses to a murder in El Salvador” did not meet the particularity requirement because it failed to acknowledge that this group was narrower than "witnesses to a crime” and erroneously based its ruling on the the fact that the groups could further be divided into smaller subgroups, which is not dispositive of particularity. Judge Wynn's concurrence states that he finds that “witnesses to a murder in El Salvador” is particular while Judge Wilkinson's dissent determines that the proposed group lacks particularity.
Holding that Virginia accessory after the fact is categorically an offense “relating to obstruction of justice” and thus an aggravated felony because it requires specific intent. The Court determined that the agency's definition of "obstruction of justice" is entitled to Chevron deference because the INA is a civil statute and lenity does not apply, the phrase is ambiguous, and the agency's interpretation is reasonable. Judge Gregory dissented, determining that Chevron deference did not extend to the agency's interpretation of the statue because the phrase is unambiguous and alternatively, the agency's interpretation was unreasonable.
Holding that the agency applied the wrong nexus standard and that based on the persecutor's statements that he believed Petitioner was related to the building manager and could use that relationship to have him evicted, Petitioner's familial relationship was at least one central reason for the persecutor's initial threats, even if other reasons may be linked to subsequent offenses. The Court further indicates that imputed familial relationship would satisfy the nexus requirement. It remands for the agency to determine whether Petitioner suffered persecution on account of her kinship ties.
Holding that (1) the crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) statute is not unconstitutionally vague and does not violate the non-delegation doctrine and (2) Virginia felony eluding, in violation of Va. Code § 46.2-817, is categorically a CIMT because the statute satisfies both the culpable mental state and reprehensible conduct prongs of a CIMT.
Abrogating Matter of S-O-G- & F-D-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 462 (A.G. 2018) to hold that IJs and the BIA possess the inherent authority to terminate removal proceedings and remanding for agency to determine in the first instance whether termination of Petitioner's case was appropriate and necessary. The Court further remanded for the agency to determine whether administrative closure was appropriate in light of Petitioner's DACA status. It upheld the denial of a continuance based on Petitioner's speculative eligibility for non-LPR cancellation and the denial of Petitioner's motion to remand on the basis that he failed to attach evidence of prima facie relief eligibility.
Holding that Herrera-Pagoada couldn’t collaterally attack (and thereby invalidate) his sentence for illegal reentry, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a) and (b). Despite Herrera-Pagoada’s claim that his trial counsel was ineffective, the Court held that he failed to show that “the entry of the removal order was fundamentally unfair” because a non-citizen has no due process right to be advised of discretionary relief like voluntary departure during removal proceedings.
Dismissing Petitioner's illegal reentry indictment because the IJ failed to develop the record, as required by Quintero v. Garland, 998 F.3d 612 (4th Cir. 2021), and that failure caused prejudice to Vasquez Flores. The IJ did not advise Vasquez Flores of his appellate rights at the hearing and failed to adequately develop the record as to bond and voluntary departure.
Upholding denial of asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT relief. The Court ruled that Petitioner's proposed particular social groups of "former members of the MS-13," and "former members of MS-13 who leave for moral reasons," were not cognizable because these groups are not recognized in Salvadoran society as socially distinct. The Court also denied CAT relief because Petitioner did not meet his burden of demonstrating a clear probability of torture if returned to El Salvador because of the Salvadoran government’s efforts to combat police corruption and gang violence.
Holding that the Court had jurisdiction to review whether Petitioner suffered “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(D) because it was a “question of law” that involved “the application of a legal standard to settled facts.” The Court nevertheless ruled that Petitioner failed to prove his U.S. citizen children would experience “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” if he was removed, and thus he did not qualify for non-LPR cancellation of removal.
Upholding the denial of Petitioner’s motion to reopen based on ineffective assistance of counsel where counsel failed to raise the issue of competency and seek safeguards under Matter of M-A-M- but the IJ sua sponte undertook the steps required by M-A-M- to confirm Petitioner was competent and where counsel failed to rely on Temu v. Holder, 740 F.3d 887 (4th Cir. 2014) to raise a mental health asylum claim. The Court also upheld the denial of Petitioner’s motion to reopen based on new evidence, including medical records detailing his cognitive impairments, because the new evidence would not have “establish[ed] a causal nexus between his disability…and the persecution.”
Holding that the IJ and the BIA erred in concluding that the petitioner failed to demonstrate she was persecuted on account of her membership in her proposed PSG, namely her nuclear family. Citing Hernandez-Avalos v. Lynch, 784 F.3d 944, 949 (4th Cir. 2015), the Court explained that the IJ and the BIA applied a “legally incorrect and ‘excessively narrow’” nexus analysis that the Fourth Circuit “[has] rejected time and time again.” The Court reversed the BIA’s nexus determination because the record conclusively established that the petitioner’s PSG was “at least one central reason” for her persecution.
Remanding for the BIA to reconsider the Petitioners’ claims for asylum, withholding, and CAT protection where the BIA ignored unrebutted material evidence and did not apply Fourth Circuit precedent recognizing death threats as persecution. The Court emphasized that death threats can be considered persecution even if an applicant remains in their home country for an extended period of time (here, one year) after receiving the threats. Judge Quattlebaum dissented.
Vacating and remanding for further agency proceedings where the IJ and the BIA “contravened prevailing case law, disregarded crucial evidence, and failed to explain [their] decisions” for every prong of the petitioner’s asylum claim (persecution, nexus, and government unwilling or unable to control). The Court, sitting en banc, also held that it had jurisdiction over the petitioner’s government control claim because the BIA addressed it in sufficient detail below after raising it sua sponte. Judge Quattlebaum, writing in dissent, would have dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdiction or denied it on the merits.
Holding that technical issues during an asylum applicant’s evidentiary hearing did not amount to a due process violation where the applicant failed to demonstrate prejudice. The Court also affirmed the BIA’s decision to deny the petitioner relief from removal due to a negative credibility finding, insufficient corroborating evidence, and unpersuasive country conditions.
Holding that Virginia Code § 18.2-51 (unlawful wounding) is a “crime of violence” under 18 U.S.C. § 16(a) because it has as an element the use of “physical force,” and therefore it is an “aggravated felony” under the INA. The Fourth Circuit also upheld the denial of the petitioner’s claims for asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT protection because (1) the petitioner’s proposed PSG (“returning migrants from the United States”) did not satisfy the “particularity” requirement for asylum and withholding, and (2) for purposes of CAT protection, the petitioner did not meet his burden of showing that he would “more likely than not” be tortured if removed to Honduras.
Denying an asylum-seeker’s petition for review where she provided credible testimony but failed to produce sufficient corroborating evidence to support her claim, such as statements from individuals who witnessed relevant events firsthand. The Fourth Circuit also held that neither the IJ nor the BIA erred by failing to (1) make express findings about whether sufficient corroborating evidence was “reasonably available” or (2) give the petitioner a “more meaningful opportunity” to explain why she did not produce sufficient evidence.
Holding that the Equal Access to Justice Act (see 28 U.S.C. § 2412) does not apply to habeas proceedings seeking release from civil detention because such proceedings are not “civil actions,” as defined by the Act. Judge Keenan dissented, characterizing habeas actions as “purely civil in nature” and thus concluding that Act allowed for recovery of attorney’s fees in successful habeas challenges to immigration detention.
Holding (1) that 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(b)(1) imposes upon IJs a duty to fully develop the record in all immigration court proceedings, and (2) that Matter of W-Y-C- & H-O-B- does not apply to pro se asylum seekers insofar it requires them to explicitly identify their proposed PSG before the IJ or forfeit that PSG on appeal. Instead, IJs have a duty to help pro se asylum seekers articulate any cognizable social group supported by the facts of their claims; failure by IJs to fully develop the record constitutes a presumptively prejudicial error.
Upholding the denial of a motion to suppress based on a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1357(a) in a prosecution for illegal reentry because the statute does not authorize suppression and providing for suppression based on the judiciary's inherent supervisory authority would be improper. Judge Floyd dissented, concluding that while the statute does not provide for suppression, under its supervisory authority, the district court should have considered suppressing in the face of widespread violations of the statute.
Holding that DOJ regulations empower IJs to issue inadmissibility waivers for nonimmigrant visas under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(d)(3)(A)(ii) and that the Court had jurisdiction to review the denial of a continuance.
Dismissing Petitioner's claim that a pardoned offense is not a "conviction" under 8 U.S.C. § 1101 for failure to exhaust administrative remedies and alternatively, denying the claim on its merits, and rejecting Petitioner's argument that a pardon waives all grounds for removal related to the pardoned offenses because under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(vi), a pardon waives only four enumerated categories of crimes.
Affirming BIA's determination that Petitioner did not qualify for derivative asylee status and was therefore removable because Petitioner's mother's initial asylum application was terminated for fraud rather than referred to the immigration court.
Finding the BIA improperly discounted Petitioner's affidavits from family members detailing a gang leader's retribution against her husband as insufficient or "self-interested." The Court held that, although Petitioner's corroborating evidence did not identify her persecutor by name, such information is not needed to establish past persecution or nexus and corroboration can only be required when reasonable and related to elements of a claim. The Court further reiterated that its precedent recognizes nuclear family as a particular social group.
Remanding to the BIA to address two questions about the scope of the term "crime of child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment" in 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(E)(i): (1) whether Congress intended § 1227(a)(2)(E)(i) to apply to noncitizens convicted of an attempt or inchoate offense; and (2) whether a strict liability statute can satisfy the BIA's interpretation of § 1227(a)(2)(E)(i).
Rejecting the BIA's "excessively narrow" view of the nexus requirement, the Court found that Petitioner's familial ties were one central reason for her past persecution. The Court also concluded that the evidence presented (namely, Petitioner's credible testimony about her efforts to seek police help combined with country condition information about the extent of gang corruption in government) compelled the conclusion that the Guatemalan government was unable or unwilling to control Petitioner's persecutors.
Holding that, regardless of whether Chevron deference applied to the BIA's analysis, Petitioner's proposed particular social group of “former Salvadoran MS-13 members" satisfied the particularity requirement and the BIA's interpretation of the particularity requirement in Matter of W-G-R-, 26 I&N Dec. 208 (BIA 2014) (ruling that former gang membership must be further defined with respect to the duration or strength of participation to qualify as a PSG) was erroneous. The Court upheld the denial of CAT relief. Judge Richardson dissented, determining that Chevron deference applied and the BIA's finding of no particularity was reasonable.
Affirming in part and vacating in part district court's dismissal of action challenging delayed adjudications of U-visa petitions and work authorization requests pending U-visa approval. The Court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to review work authorization claims because DHS is not required to adjudicate work authorization requests but that Plaintiffs' claim regarding delayed adjudication of U-visa petitions was subject to judicial review and Plaintiffs pled a plausible claim.
Reversing the district court's grant of summary judgment to Defendant on Plaintiff unaccompanied immigrant children's claim that Defendant failed to provide adequate mental health care. The Court ruled that (1) Plaintiffs established standing although ORR was not named as a Defendant; (2) the proper standard is whether Defendant's actions departed from accepted professional judgment, not deliberate indifference; and (3) on remand, district court should consider evidence on trauma-informed care and the professional judgment standard. Judge Wilkinson dissented, concluding that the deliberate indifference standard should apply but that regardless of which standard applied, summary judgment was proper.
Upholding preliminary injunction enjoining 2019 executive order requiring both a state and locality to provide affirmative consent before refugees could be resettled. The Court ruled that Plaintiffs established a likelihood of success on their claim that the executive order violated the Refugee Act and that they satisfied the remaining factors for a preliminary injunction.
Upholding grant of summary judgment to Government in Administrative Procedure Act (APA) case challenging 2008 DHS rules and 2015 joint DHS and DOL rules on labor certification for H-2B visas. The Court ruled that (1) the challenge to the 2008 rules was time-barred, (2) Plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the 2015 rules on enforcement, and (3) DHS and DOL had statutory authority to promulgate the remaining 2015 rules.
Holding that Board of Immigration Appeals did not abuse its discretion or violate Petitioner's due process rights in summarily dismissing Petitioner's appeal pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 1003.1(d)(2)(i)(A), (E) where Petitioner's notice of appeal did not dispute specific factual findings or raise legal challenges with supporting authority and Petitioner did not submit a brief.
Holding that the Board of Immigration Appeals committed reversible error by referencing and considering a proposed particular social group other than the one put forth by Petitioner.
Ruling that former Colombian police officer who received written and text message death threats from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) suffered harm rising to the level of persecution and was entitled to a presumption of a well-founded fear of future persecution.
Holding that Petitioner was not a member of the proposed particular social groups of “Honduran women who are unable to leave their domestic relationship” and “Honduran women viewed as property by their domestic partners" because she ended her relationship with her former abuser by moving out of his home, which also indicated lack of immutability. The Court further ruled that Petitioner failed to show nexus between the abuse and her membership in these groups because her persecutor's motive was personal and he lacked knowledge of such groups and that country conditions did not show Honduran government was unable or unwilling to protect Petitioner, who did not seek help from the police.
Upholding the district court's grant of summary judgment to Government because substantial evidence supported the BIA's affirmance of USCIS's denial of I-130 Petition based on the finding that Plaintiff's wife had previously entered into a marriage for purposes of evading the immigration laws, where the wife's former husband admitted that their marriage was fraudulent.
Ruling that in order to obtain relief from removal once removability was established, Petitioner had the burden to establish that he did not commit an aggravated felony. The Court also held, in line with Matter of L-A-C, 26 I&N Dec. 516 (BIA 2015), that an Immigration Judge (IJ) is not required to give advance notice of the specific corroborating evidence necessary to establish a claim for relief or grant an automatic continuance to allow an applicant to obtain such evidence but an IJ is required to make a finding as to whether corroborating evidence was reasonably available. Judge Harris filed a concurring opinion.
Holding that once Petitioner demonstrated past persecution, the Government could not solely rely on her ambiguous testimony that she had no knowledge of more recent threats to her family to meet its burden of showing changed circumstances to rebut the presumption of a well-founded fear of persecution. Judge Agee concurred in the judgment, stating that if it was not for Ortez-Cruz v. Barr, 951 F.3d 190 (4th Cir. 2020), he would uphold the finding of changed circumstances.
Holding that the proposed particular social group of “married El Salvadoran women in a controlling and abusive domestic relationship” is not viable because it impermissibly defines the group by the underlying persecution, thus violating the anti-circularity requirement reaffirmed in Matter of A-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 316 (A.G. 2018), and declining to rule on proposed particular social groups raised for the first time on appeal. Further upholding the agency's determination that Petitioner did not show acquiescence for CAT relief because the police came at least once to help her and she was able to work out a separation agreement with her abuser.
Upholding the BIA's denial of Petitioner's second motion to reopen, which alleged that his discriminatory denationalization constituted changed circumstances, as barred based on time and numerical limitations because Petitioner could have made the same argument raised in his second motion to reopen in his initial motion to reopen.
Holding that Petitioner failed to show prejudice and thus declining to reach whether Matter of A-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 316 (A.G. 2018) was a fundamental change in law and whether the BIA violated Petitioner's statutory and due process rights in relying on the case for the first time on appeal without giving her an opportunity to respond.
Holding that agency failed to address key unrebutted evidence and that Petitioner showed a nexus between her past persecution and family membership, thus entitling her to asylum. The Court ruled that once Petitioner demonstrated that she faced harm designed to pressure her family members to act, her family membership was at least one central reason for the persecution, even though the persecutors later extorted Petitioner.
Declining to rule on whether the Attorney General’s statement in Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I. & N. Dec. 581, 589 (A.G. 2019), that most nuclear families do not qualify as particular social groups, is entitled to deference in the Fourth Circuit. Reasoning that the BIA's decision in Petitioner's case did not rely on Matter of L-E-A- to find a lack of nexus because the BIA only referred to Matter of L-E-A- in a footnote.
Holding that Garcia Ramirez's Virginia convictions for providing false information to the police, in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-461 (2007), were crimes involving moral turpitude making him ineligible for cancellation of removal. Relying on the Board's reasoning, the Court denied Garcia Ramirez's petition for review.
Reversing the district court's grant of a nationwide preliminary injunction which enjoined new DHS rule broadening the definition of public charge for inadmissibility. The Court held that (1) CASA de Maryland lacked organizational standing but individual immigrant Plaintiffs had standing; (2) Plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed on the merits of their Administrative Procedure Act (APA) claim because DHS's definition of public charge was a permissible interpretation; (3) Plaintiffs failed to make the requisite showings for the additional preliminary injunction factors; and (4) a nationwide injunction was improper. Judge King dissented on all four rulings.
* This decision was vacated when the Court granted rehearing en banc on December 3, 2020. The appeal was later voluntarily dismissed. *
Holding that neither Virginia failure to stop after an accident (hit and run), in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-894, or identity theft, in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-186.3(B1), is a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). The Court ruled that mere failure to comply with reporting requirements is not reprehensible conduct and rejected the Government's argument that any offense that categorically involves fraud is a CIMT.
Holding that Virginia conviction for unlawfully discharging a firearm under Va. Code § 18.2-280(A) is not categorically a removable "firearm offense" under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(C) because the plain language of the Virginia statute encompasses antique firearms explicitly excluded from the federal definition, rendering it unnecessary for the Petitioner to identify an actual past prosecution involving an antique firearm.
Holding that (1) under United States v. Cortez, 930 F.3d 350 (4th Cir. 2019), absence of date and time of hearing in NTA did not deprive immigration court of jurisdiction and (2) substantial evidence supported BIA's determination that threats Petitioner experienced after witnessing a gang member murder his brother were not based on Petitioner's family membership, but were instead because he was the sole witness to the homicide. The Court further recognized nuclear family as a particular social group.
Holding that district court erred in denying Government's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's action challenging presidential Proclamation 9645 imposing travel ban on foreign nationals from certain countries because under Trump v. Hawaii, 138 S. Ct. 2392 (2018) (reversing preliminary injunction enjoining the Proclamation), the Executive gave a facially legitimate and bona fide reason for the Proclamation, national security, and alternatively, satisfied rational basis review.
Holding that Virginia offense of cocaine distribution as an accommodation, in violation of Va. Code § 18.2-248(D), is an aggravated felony and a crime relating to a controlled substance because the Virginia drug statute, while categorically overbroad, is divisible by controlled substance under Bah v. Barr, 950 F.3d 203 (4th Cir. 2020).
Holding that former Guatemalan soldier who was tortured by fellow soldiers after refusing to murder innocent civilians was persecuted on account of his imputed political opinion as a defender of human rights such that he had successfully met the nexus requirement for asylum.
Ruling that USCIS's revocation of an I-130 visa petition pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1155 is committed to agency discretion and barred from judicial review and that Plaintiff's constitutional claim challenging the revocation could only be brought in a petition for review of a final removal order.
Ruling that Virginia unlawful wounding, in violation of Va. Code § 18.2-51, is an aggravated felony crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(a) because the offense involves at least the “attempted or threatened” use of physical force.
Ruling that Maryland conviction for robbery, in violation of Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 3-402, is an aggravated felony.
Holding that Texas burglary conviction under Tx. § 30.02 is an aggravated felony burglary offense under § 1101(a)(43)(G) even assuming it does not require an initial intent to commit a crime upon unauthorized entry.
Holding that, for withholding of removal, the IJ and BIA erred in finding that the government rebutted Petitioner's presumption of future persecution because, while the government is not required to present independent evidence to rebut the presumption, it has the burden to affirmatively prove that a past threat is no longer existent in order to show a fundamental change in circumstances or that a persecutor would not pose a threat at any point in the future to establish that Petitioner could safely internally relocate. The Court further upheld the agency's denial of CAT relief.
Holding that, while Virginia's controlled substance statute encompasses a broader array of drugs than federal law, a conviction under the statute requires identification of the specific type of drug involved, rendering the statute divisible and the Petitioner's conviction under Va. Code § 18.2-250(A)(a) for possession of ethylone—a federal controlled substance—an offense relating to a controlled substance. In her dissent, Judge Thacker argues that the Virginia statute should be presumed indivisible because the evidence is at best inconclusive as to whether the specific identity of the drug, as opposed to the general type of drug, is an essential element for conviction.
On rehearing en banc, pursuant to Administrative Procedure Act (APA) review, overturning USCIS's interpretation of the special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS) provision to require a permanent custody order on the basis that such interpretation was not entitled to deference, defied the plain statutory language, and impermissibly intruded into issues of state domestic relations law. Judge Quattlebaum wrote a dissenting opinion.
Holding that IJ and BIA did not violate Petitioner's due process rights in denying his "merchant in the formal Honduran economy"-based asylum claim because, while the IJ mischaracterized the particular social group at issue, the BIA cured the deficiency by properly analyzing Petitioner's proposed group and rejecting it based on lack of immutability in accordance with Matter of Acosta.
Holding that BIA did not abuse its discretion in denying Petitioner's second motion to reopen because Petitioner failed to submit a concurrent asylum application demonstrating changed circumstances, as required by 8 C.F.R. § 1003.2(c)(1), and rejecting Petitioner's procedural due process argument because denying Petitioner discretionary relief did not deprive her of a constitutionally protected liberty or property interest.
Holding that Romero v. Barr, 937 F.3d 282, 294 (4th Cir. 2019) (ruling that IJs and the BIA have authority to administratively close cases) invalidated the BIA's rationale for rejecting Petitioner's arguments for administrative closure and remanding for further proceedings consistent with Romero.
Holding that (1) Court had jurisdiction to determine whether I-130 petitions pending at the time of passage of legislation changing eligibility criteria should be processed under the former or the amended version of the statute but (2) USCIS’s decision to apply the amended version of the statute to I-130 petitions filed before the passage of the amendments was proper under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
Holding that, when the BIA remands a case to the IJ for background checks, the BIA decision is not a final order of removal for purposes of judicial review and thus the Court lacked jurisdiction over the petition for review under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(1).
Holding that, pursuant to Administrative Procedure Act (APA) review, (1) USCIS's denial of I-130 Petition for Alien Relative on the basis that Plaintiff had entered into a prior marriage for immigration benefit was supported by substantial evidence, (2) Court could not reweigh evidence, and (3) Plaintiffs failed to cite any legal error in USCIS's investigation of prior marriage.
Holding that 8 C.F.R. §§ 1003.10(b) and 1003.1(d)(1)(ii) confer on Immigration Judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals the general authority to administratively close cases, and thus the Attorney General's interpretation of those statutory provisions in Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I. & N. Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018) was in error.
Permitting Petitioner to allege membership in a particular social group not raised in her opening brief due to her attorney's "poor performance" and holding that the Board committed reversible error by (1) failing to explain why Petitioner's purported particular social group did not pass muster; (2) erroneously requiring that Petitioner establish that she could not reasonably relocate in evaluating the existence of past persecution; and (3) failing to address Petitioner's testimony that she sought the help of police but was turned away in determining government acquiesence.
Holding that (1) the BIA's determination that Petitioner was ineligible for asylum and withholding because he failed to show nexus between his past harm and membership in the proposed PSGs of "witnesses of crimes committed by the Zetas" and family of his brother was not supported by substantial evidence; (2) the BIA erred when it found that Petitioner could safely relocate within Guatemala; and (3) the BIA must reconsider the government acquiescence element of Petitioner's CAT claim in light of recent Fourth Circuit precedent.
Holding that (1) when expedited removal is alleged to be an element in a criminal prosecution under 8 U.S.C. § 1326, the defendant must, as a matter of due process, be able to challenge the element if he did not have a prior opportunity to do so, and thus the jurisdiction-stripping provision in 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b)(1)(D) is unconstitutional, but (2) the Defendant in the instant case failed to establish that the expedited removal procedure was fundamentally unfair because he did not demonstrate prejudice.
Holding that (1) Petitioner exhausted his administrative remedies because the BIA had ruled definitively on the sole issue raised in the petition for review, and (2) the Virginia offense of participating in criminal street gang activity, in violation of Va. Code § 18.2-46.2(A), is not categorically a crime involving moral turpitude.
Holding that (1) the fact that Notice to Appear did not provide time and date of hearing did not deprive the immigration court of jurisdiction over Petitioner's proceedings and (2) Board did not abuse its discretion in denying Petitioner's motion to reopen based on eligibility for VAWA relief because Petitioner failed to establish that alleged battery was a central reason for his failure to comply with terms of voluntary departure.
Holding that (1) non-citizen could not collaterally attack his prior removal order in subsequent illegal reentry criminal proceedings because the conditions prescribed by 8 U.S.C. § 1326(d) were not met; (2) the lack of date and time in the notice to appear (NTA) did not implicate immigration court’s adjudicatory authority; and (3) the date and time for subsequent removal hearing need not be included in NTA to initiate removal proceedings.
Holding that the record compelled the conclusion that Petitioner's membership in his family, a particular social group, was at least one central reason that gang members who were trying to extort Petitioner's family attacked and threatened him.
Holding that (1) BIA failed to consider relevant evidence in determining that Petitioner failed to show nexus, (2) Petitioner's membership in proposed PSG of "unmarried mothers living under control of gangs" and imputed anti-gang political opinion were one central reason for her harm, (3) IJ erred in finding that Petitioner's proposed PSG did not satisfy particularity and social distinction requirements and that she did not establish an imputed political opinion, and (4) IJ and BIA failed to meaningfully engage with evidence regarding likelihood of torture and acquiescence for CAT relief.
Holding that, for Petitioner's applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT protection, the agency disregarded and distorted important aspects of Petitioner’s testimony in concluding that Salvadoran government was willing and able to protect her from her abuser.
Reversing in part district court's partial grant of summary judgment to Government in action challenging DHS's rescission of DACA. The Court held that the INA did not bar judicial review; the rescission was not an unreviewable action committed to agency discretion by law; the rescission was a general statement of policy not subject to notice and comment rulemaking; DHS's failure to give adequate reasoning for the rescission rendered it arbitrary and capricious; and DHS was not equitably estopped from sharing DACA applicant information. Judge Richardson dissented, determining that the rescission was unreviewable because it was committed to agency discretion and that Plaintiffs' constitutional claims also failed.
Holding that taking custodial indecent liberties with a child under Va. Code § 18.2-370.1(A) constitutes a "sexual abuse of a minor" aggravated felony.
Holding that, following remand, the agency properly denied Petitioner's application for an INA § 216a(c)(4)(B) good faith marriage waiver because (1) the Court lacked jurisdiction to consider the agency's adverse credibility determination and weighing of evidence, (2) Petitioner failed to submit sufficient evidence to satisfy the statutory standard for a good faith marriage, and (3) the Immigration Judge did not violate Petitioner's due process rights at the merits hearing.
Holding that district courts have jurisdiction to review immigration determinations when they constitute a collateral challenge in a criminal proceeding and declining to reach whether a collateral challenge to a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) determination in a criminal proceeding is permissible because the Petitioner failed to assert a due process violation that would render the 2002 adjudication of his TPS application fundamentally unfair.
Ruling that Board’s failure to fully consider Petitioner’s testimony regarding government acquiescence warranted remand of CAT claim.
Holding that the questions of (1) whether the government would acquiesce in torture for the purpose of CAT relief and (2) whether the Petitioner was in the "physical custody" of his father for purpose of derivation of citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 are mixed questions of fact and law subject to de novo review by the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Rejecting Petitioner's challenge to reinstatement of his prior removal order because, although there was no IJ removal order in the record, there was ample other evidence in the record to support a finding that the Petitioner had been ordered removed to Honduras in 2009, including fingerprint data that DHS proffered but did not enter into evidence.
Holding that because Petitioner's record of conviction was inconclusive as to whether his 1985 conviction for “sell[ing]/furnish[ing]/etc. marijuana, hash” in violation of Cal. Health & Safety Code § 11360(a) (West 1975) constituted an aggravated felony, he failed to establish eligibility for special rule cancellation of removal under NACARA.
Holding that the agency legally erred in denying Petitioner CAT relief because it (1) failed to aggregate Petitioner's risk of torture from all three of the entities that Petitioner feared and determine whether that sum exceeded 50% and (2) did not meaningfully engage with or consider country conditions evidence as a whole.
Holding that (1) because the Petitioner was removable based on his commission of an aggravated felony or specific firearm offense, whether Petitioner established, for CAT relief, that the government would acquiesce in his torture is a mixed question of law and fact that falls outside of the Fourth Circuit's jurisdiction and (2) the Immigration Judge’s determination that Petitioner failed to establish government acquiescence is subject to de novo review by the BIA.
Holding that a non-citizen's conviction under 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a) constitutes clear and convincing evidence that he engaged in alien smuggling, thus rendering him removable because he was inadmissible at the time of his adjustment to LPR status, and ineligible for an INA § 237(a)(1)(H) waiver of inadmissibility.
Upholding the Board of Immigration Appeals’ finding that Maryland second-degree child abuse pursuant to Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 3-601(a)(2), (d) is categorically a crime of child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(E)(i).
Holding that Petitioner failed to show nexus because he presented no evidence that gangs harassed him in El Salvador on account of his father’s disability.
Ruling that the BIA correctly denied Petitioner's motion to reopen on the basis of reinvigorating her previous claim of past persecution and asserting an individualized fear of future persecution, but that the BIA abused its discretion by failing to address Petitioner's new "pattern or practice" argument and new Cameroonian country conditions evidence indicating increased violence against Anglophones.
Holding that, although the BIA failed to consider materially changed country conditions, namely the worsening oppression of Chinese Christians, the BIA did not err when it denied Petitioners' second motion to reopen because Petitioners did not establish prima facie eligibility for asylum, withholding, or protection under CAT.
Holding that the IJ and the BIA erred when they found that a lack of physical harm indicated that a Honduran asylum-seeker who had received multiple death threats had not suffered past persecution.
Holding that, in proving Petitioner's removability based on his commission of a crime involving moral turpitude within five years of his admission to the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had the burden of affirmatively establishing date of Petitioner's admission by clear and convincing evidence, and DHS failed to establish that Petitioner committed crime within five years of his admission.
Holding that the Board of Immigration Appeals abused its discretion in finding that Petitioner was not subjected to past persecution where binding precedent explicitly holds that a threat of death constitutes persecution and recognizing "homosexuals in Benin" as a particular social group.
Holding that, where the Immigration Judge made an explicit finding that the persecutor's motive was not on account of a protected ground, the issue of persecutor’s motive is a factual finding that the BIA reviews for clear error that does not authorize de novo review at the circuit court. Declining to reach whether Matter of C-T-L-, 25 I&N Dec. 341 (BIA 2010) (extending the “one central reason” standard for asylum to withholding of removal) is legally flawed because the argument was foreclosed by the Immigration Judge's factual finding on the persecutor's motive. Upholding denial of relief under the Convention against Torture because the BIA applied the correct clear error standard of review to the likelihood of torture, a fact-based determination, and the BIA's determination was supported by substantial evidence.
Holding that (1) the Immigration Judge's adverse credibility determination was supported by substantial evidence; (2) the Immigration Judge did not err by improperly discounting the Petitioner's corroborating evidence when denying his application for asylum; (3) the Immigration Judge did not err, on remand, by conducting an additional hearing and taking oral testimony before denying Petitioner's application for asylum; and (4) the Immigration Judge's determination that the Petitioner did not demonstrate a likelihood that he would be tortured if returned to Bangladesh was supported by substantial evidence.
Vacating and remanding BIA's determination that Maryland conviction for a fourth degree sex offense under Md. § 3-308(b)(1) was a crime involving moral turpitude because the BIA's decision relied on Matter of Jimenez-Cedillo, which had been overruled at the time.
Holding that the BIA did not err when it reversed the IJ's grant of protection under the Convention Against Torture, because Petitioner did not show that she would more likely than not be tortured if returned to El Salvador.
Holding that (1) Petitioner's conviction for conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute, in violation of New Jersey's general conspiracy statute, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:5-2, constituted a federal controlled substance offense, which rendered Petitioner inadmissible, (2) the Board was permitted to consider Petitioner's indictment as evidence of his conviction, and (3) Court lacked jurisdiction to consider Petitioner's unexhausted argument that DHS did not carry its burden of establishing removability because the indictment considered by the Board was not the indictment to which he pled guilty.
Holding that (1) an IJ requiring an asylum-seeker to produce corroboration of her religion-based claim in the form of an affidavit from her husband was not an abuse of discretion, (2) a Muslim militiaman yelling at the Christian asylum-seeker to stop praying did not constitute past persecution, and (3) the asylum-seeker had demonstrated no well-founded fear of future persecution largely because the Central African Republic is majority Christian. The dissent in this case argues that the agency abused its discretion for several reasons, including failing to consider important country conditions information supporting the asylum-seeker's well-founded fear.
Holding that substantial evidence did not support the Board of Immigration Appeals' determination that the government had established a fundamental change in circumstances to rebut the Petitioner's well-founded fear of persecution for asylum and withholding of removal, and that the agency erred in placing the burden on Petitioner to prove that he could not avoid future persecution through internal relocation, rather than the government to show that he could avoid future persecution by relocating.
Holding that the imposition of $100 in court costs, assessed attendant to a prayer for judgment continued under North Carolina law, does not qualify as a penalty or punishment to constitute a “conviction” within the meaning of the Immigration and Naturalization Act under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(48)(A) and thus, Petitioner was not statutorily barred from cancellation of removal for nonpermanent residents.
Holding that Maryland consolidated theft, Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 7-104, is not a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) because it punishes de minimis, or minor, takings and is indivisible.
Holding that the BIA did not err in concluding that Petitioner's felony failure to appear conviction under Virginia Code § 19.2-128(B) constitutes an aggravated felony, which rendered him deportable.
Holding that (1) Petitioner's Tennessee conviction for unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, in violation of Tenn. Code § 39-17-417, constitutes both an aggravated felony and a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) and Court thus lacked jurisdiction to review BIA's denial of Petitioner's motion to reopen, (2) Petitioner was ineligible for § 212(c) waiver because one of the CIMT convictions that rendered him removable occurred after the repeal of § 212(c), and (3) Petitioner was ineligible for cancellation of removal for LPRs due to aggravated felony conviction.
Holding that the Maryland offense of conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance is divisible; as such, the IJ and the BIA properly utilized the modified categorical approach to find that a noncitizen's conviction constituted a controlled substance offense that rendered him removable under 8 U.S.C. § 1227.
Holding that a Salvadoran non-citizen was not a member of the particular social group, "nuclear family of his ex-girlfriend's daughter," even though he financially provided for the daughter for all of her life, because (1) he is not the biological father of the child and (2) it was widely known in his community that he was not the biological father of the child, thus failing to satisfy the social visibility prong.
Holding that, pursuant to Mejia v. Sessions, 866 F.3d 573, 584 (4th Cir. 2017) and 8 U.S.C. § 1231(a)(5), Petitioner, who was subjected to a reinstated order of removal, could not apply for asylum, even though the factual basis for his asylum claim did not exist prior to his removal.
Holding that the Board of Immigration Appeals did not abuse its discretion in denying (1) Petitioner's motion to reconsider the conclusion that Petitioner had abandoned her status as a lawful permanent resident based on her extended trips to her home country and (2) Petitioner's motion to reopen because the evidence Petitioner sought to present could have been previously presented and would not have changed the outcome of the case.
Holding that (1) Petitioner administratively exhausted issue of whether offense was a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) despite making more nuanced points and citing new cases for the first time on petition for review and (2) Virginia obstruction of justice pursuant to Va. Code Ann. § 18.2- 460(A) does not constitute a CIMT because it does not categorically involve turpitudinous conduct, and (3) ordering Government to facilitate Petitioner's return to the United States to restore him to his pre-removal status and effectuate judicial review.
Holding that, for purposes of CAT relief, generalized expert and country conditions evidence is insufficient to establish probability of torture and government acquiescence to torture by Salvadoran gangs.
Holding that USCIS did not abuse its discretion when it denied a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) application because the applicant provided a temporary rather than a permanent custody order that did not reflect the state court's factual findings, even though the applicant later submitted a second permanent custody order that complied with USCIS requirements.
Holding that Petitioner's South Carolina domestic violence conviction constitutes a crime of violence under 8 U.S.C. § 16(a) and thus rendered him ineligible for cancellation of removal.
Declining to apply full exclusionary rule to immigration proceedings and upholding agency's denial of Petitioner's motion to suppress statements he made to police officers and ICE agents admitting that he was without status because Petitioner failed to establish an egregious Fourth Amendment or due process violation.
Holding that the Immigration Judge did not abuse his discretion or violate due process in denying a continuance after Petitioner retained new counsel, and upholding the Immigration Judge's denial of Petitioner's application for an 8 U.S.C. § 1186a(c)(4)(B) good faith marriage waiver because (1) the Court lacked jurisdiction to review the agency’s weighing of evidence, (2) the Board applied the correct standard of review, and (3) Petitioner’s evidence failed to satisfy the statutory standard for a good faith marriage.
Ruling that Board erred in concluding that Maryland sexual solicitation of a minor, Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 3-324, is a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT), where, after Petitioner pled guilty to the offense, the Board reversed its prior precedent to hold that offense was a CIMT without acknowledging or explaining its change in position.
Ruling that substantial evidence supports the IJ and BIA finding that a Salvadoran non-citizen had failed to establish the requisite nexus for withholding of removal because he did not show that extortion letters from gang members were on account of his status as a former police officer.
Ruling that the proposed particular social group "Honduran women evading rape and extortion" is not legally cognizable because it does not meet the particularity and social visibility requirements.
Holding that the agency abused its discretion when it failed to consider all of the In re Hashmi factors in denying a non-citizen's motion for a continuance due to DHS's delay in adjudicating an I-130 petition filed by the non-citizen's husband.
Ruling that (1) for withholding of removal, Petitioner’s family relationship was a central reason for Petitioner's persecution, which resulted from Petitioner's stepfather’s actions to protect family from gang, (2) remand was required to consider whether, pursuant to Zambrano v. Sessions, 878 F.3d 84 (4th Cir. 2017), Petitioner demonstrated changed circumstances in the form of the intensification of a preexisting threat of persecution to excuse the untimeliness of his asylum application, and (3) substantial evidence supported the agency's denial of CAT relief.
Holding that the agency did not adequately explain its factual determinations in denying asylum to an LGBTQ Mexican asylum-seeker because it failed to (1) consider whether there is a pattern or practice of harm against LGBTQ individuals in Mexico rising to the level of persecution and (2) give reasons for discounting record evidence that contradicted its conclusion that the asylum-seeker did not have an objectively reasonable fear of return to Mexico.
Holding that Petitioner failed to establish nexus to a protected ground for her claim based on a child custody dispute with her mother-in-law, a solely personal conflict among family members.
Holding that, in denying asylum and withholding of removal, agency erred in concluding that gang's extortion and threats were not on account of Petitioner's relationship to her father and agency failed to address key evidence showing nexus.
Holding that Virginia statutory burglary conviction under Va. Code § 18.2-91 is categorically not an aggravated felony burglary offense under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G) because the statute is indivisible, containing several alternative means for committing the offense, and overbroad, encompassing lawful entry and entry without force.
Holding that Virginia involuntary manslaughter under Va. Code § 18.2-36 is not a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) because it requires only failure to perceive risk (criminal negligence) rather than conscious disregard of risk (gross negligence).
Holding that Maryland conviction for sexual contact with a minor under Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 3-307(a)(3) is categorically not an aggravated felony under the "sexual abuse of a minor" prong because the statute broadly encompasses physically abusive conduct not included within the federal generic definition of "sexual abuse of a minor."
Holding that (1) Petitioner was persecuted on account of his membership in the group "former gang members, who left the gang without its permission for moral and religious reasons," and (2) the BIA failed to adequately address evidence put forth by Petitioner with regard to the cognizability of the asserted particular social group, requiring remand.
Holding that (1) BIA's finding of a lack of nexus in family-based asylum claim rested on an erroneous distinction between gang threats on account of Petitioner's relationship to her son and gang threats intended to coerce Petitioner into permitting her son to join the gang and (2) BIA improperly distorted and disregarded Petitioner's testimony regarding the gang's influence over the local police in finding that the Salvadoran government was not unable and unwilling to protect her.
Holding that adverse credibility finding made by IJ and affirmed by BIA was not supported by substantial evidence because it (1) relied on inconsistencies that were likely the result of flawed courtroom interpretation, (2) failed to adequately consider how past trauma may have caused Petitioner's abnormal demeanor, and (3) disregarded corroborating documentation that ameliorated inconsistencies and independently supported the claim.
Holding that (1) Petitioner was persecuted by nurses and prison guards on account of his membership in the particular social group of "individuals with bipolar disorder who exhibit erratic behavior" and (2) the particular social group is cognizable and meets the requirements of immutability, particularity, and social visibility. Judge Agee dissented.
Holding that (1) "physical force" in the term "crime of violence" in 18 U.S.C. § 16(a) connotes violent force capable of causing physical pain or injury and (2) Maryland second degree assault under Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 3-203 is not categorically a crime of violence because it does not require the use of violent force. Judge King dissented.
Rejecting the Matter of Silva-Trevino, 24 I&N Dec. 687 (A.G. 2008) framework and holding that (1) courts analyzing whether a criminal conviction qualifies as a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) cannot review criminal documents beyond those they are explicitly authorized to consider under the categorical and modified categorical approaches and (2) a conviction for sexual intercourse with a minor under Va. Code § 18.2-371 is not a CIMT when the record of conviction does not reveal the subsection under which the individual was convicted because the statute encompasses non-turpitudinous conduct. Judge Shedd dissented.
Holding that Virginia conviction for involuntary manslaughter under Va. Code § 18.2-36 is not an aggravated felony crime of violence because the conviction's required element of general recklessness does connote recklessness as to whether force will be used.
Holding that Virginia conviction for misdemeanor sexual battery under Va. Code 18.2-67.4 is categorically an aggravated felony crime of violence.