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Precedent Chart


MARRIAGE FRAUD

Marriage During Proceedings

Matter of Casillas, 22 I&N Dec. 154 (BIA 1998)

In order to commence proceedings against an alien for purposes of sections 204(g) and 245(e)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§1154(g) and 1255(e)(2) (1994),an Order to Show Cause and Notice of Hearing (Form I-221) that was issued on or after June 20, 1991, must be filed with the Immigration Court. Matter of Fuentes, 20 I&N Dec. 227 (BIA 1991), superseded.

Section 216(c)(4) Hardship Waiver

Matter of Stowers, 22 I&N Dec. 605 (BIA 1999)

(1) An alien whose conditional permanent residence was terminated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service under section 216(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1186a(b) (1994), before the 90-day petitioning period preceding the second anniversary of the grant of status, may file an application for a waiver under section 216(c)(4) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1186a(c)(4).

(2) Where an alien is prima facie eligible for a waiver under section 216(c)(4) of the Act and wishes to have the Service adjudicate an application for such waiver, proceedings should be continued in order to allow the Service to adjudicate the application. Matter of Mendes, 20 I&N Dec. 833 (BIA 1994).

Matter of Singh, 24 I&N Dec. 331 (BIA 2007)

There is no conflict between section 216(c)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1186a(c)(4) (2000), and its implementing regulation at 8 C.F.R. § 1216.5(e)(1) (2007) where both provide the same start date for the circumstances to be considered in determining a conditional permanent resident’s application for an extreme hardship waiver and only the statute provides an end date for the relevant period.

Matter of Rose, 25 I&N Dec. 181 (BIA 2010)

A conditional permanent resident under section 216(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1186a(a) (2006), who is seeking to remove the conditional basis of that status and who has timely filed the petition and appeared for the interview required under section 216(c)(1), does not need a separate section 216(c)(4) hardship waiver if the petitioning spouse died during the 2-year conditional period.

Matter of Herrera Del Orden, 25 I&N Dec. 589 (BIA 2011)

(1) When an alien in removal proceedings seeks “review” of the Department of Homeland Security’s (“DHS”) denial of a waiver under section 216(c)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1186a(c)(4) (2006), of the requirement to file a joint petition to remove the conditional basis of lawful permanent resident status, he or she may introduce, and the Immigration Judge should consider, any relevant evidence without regard to whether it was previously submitted or considered in proceedings before the DHS.

(2) The scope of the review authority provided in 8 C.F.R. § 1216.5(f) (2011) is coterminous with the Immigration Judge’s ordinary powers and duties in removal proceedings.

Matter of Munroe, 26 I&N Dec. 428 (BIA 2014)

For purposes of establishing an alien's eligibility for a waiver under section 216(c)(4)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1186a(c)(4)(A) (2012), the relevant period for determining whether an alien's removal would result in extreme hardship is the 2-year period for which the alien was admitted as a conditional permanent resident.

MINORS

Matter of Amaya, 21 I&N Dec. 583 (BIA 1996)

(1) Service of an Order to Show Cause issued against a minor under 14 years of age may properly be made on the director of a facility in which the minor is detained pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 103.5a(c)(2)(ii) (1996).

(2) Although under 8 C.F.R. § 242.16(b) (1996), an Immigration Judge may not accept the admission to a charge of deportability by an unaccompanied and unrepresented minor under the age of 16, the regulation does not preclude an Immigration Judge from accepting such a minor's admissions to factual allegations, which may properly form the sole basis of a finding that such a minor is deportable.

(3) Even where an unaccompanied and unrepresented minor under the age of 16 years admits to the factual allegations made against him, an Immigration Judge must take into consideration the minor's age and pro se and unaccompanied status in determining, after a comprehensive and independent inquiry, whether the minor's testimony is reliable and whether he understands any facts that are admitted, such that his deportability is established by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence.

Matter of Ponce-Hernandez, 22 I&N Dec. 784 (BIA 1999)

The Immigration and Naturalization Service met its burden of establishing a minor respondent’s deportability for entry without inspection by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence, where (1)a Record of Deportable Alien (Form I-213) was submitted, documenting the respondent’s identity and alienage; (2) the respondent, who failed without good cause to appear at his deportation hearing, made no challenge to the admissibility of the Form I-213; and (3) there were no grounds for a finding that the admission of the Form I-213 would be fundamentally unfair.

Matter of Gomez-Gomez, 23 I&N Dec. 522 (BIA 2002)

(1) The Immigration and Naturalization Service met its burden, in an in absentia removal proceeding, of establishing a minor respondent’s removability by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence, where (1) a Record of Deportable/Inadmissible Alien (Form I-213) was submitted, documenting the respondent’s identity and alienage;(2) the respondent, who failed without good cause to appear at her removal hearing, made no challenge to the admissibility of the Form I-213; (3) there were no grounds for a finding that the admission of the Form I-213 would be fundamentally unfair; and (4) no independent evidence in the record supported the Immigration Judge’s conclusion that the respondent may not have been the child of the adult who claimed to be the respondent’s parent and who furnished the information regarding her foreign citizenship. Matter of Ponce-Hernandez, 22 I&N Dec. 784 (BIA 1999), followed.

(2) The respondent, a minor who could not be expected to attend immigration proceedings on her own, was properly notified of her hearing, through proper mailing of a Notice to Appear (Form I-862) to the last address provided by her parent, with whom she was residing.

Matter of Mejia-Andino, 23 I&N Dec. 533 (BIA 2002)

Removal proceedings against a minor under 14 years of age were properly terminated because service of the notice to appear failed to meet the requirements of 8 C.F.R. § 103.5a(c)(2)(ii) (2002), as it was served only on a person identified as the respondent’s uncle, and no effort was made to serve the notice on the respondent’s parents, who apparently live in the United States.

MOTIONS TO RECONSIDER

Affirmances Without Opinion

Matter of O-S-G-, 24 I&N Dec. 56 (BIA 2006)

A motion to reconsider a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals must include the following: (1) an allegation of material factual or legal errors in the prior decision that is supported by pertinent authority; (2) in the case of an affirmance without opinion (“AWO”), a showing that the alleged errors and legal arguments were previously raised on appeal and a statement explaining how the Board erred in affirming the Immigration Judge’s decision under the AWO regulations; and (3) if there has been a change in law, a reference to the relevant statute, regulation, or precedent and an explanation of how the outcome of the Board’s decision is materially affected by the change.

Deadlines

Matter of Goolcharan, 23 I&N Dec. 5 (BIA 2001)

The regulatory deadline for filing a motion to reopen or motion to reconsider before the Immigration Judge is determined by the date on which the Immigration Judge entered a final administrative order, and the regulatory deadline is not affected by subsequent actions taken by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the course of executing the Immigration Judge’s order.

Government Motions

Matter of C-C-I-, 26 I&N Dec. 375 (BIA 2014)

(1) Reopening of removal proceedings for a de novo hearing to consider termination of an alien's deferral of removal pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 1208.17(d)(1) (2014), is warranted where the Government presents evidence that was not considered at the previous hearing if it is relevant to the possibility that the alien will be tortured in the country to which removal has been deferred.

(2) The doctrine of collateral estoppel does not prevent an Immigration Judge from reevaluating an alien's credibility in light of additional evidence presented at a hearing under 8 C.F.R. § 1208.17(d)(3).

Sua Sponte Authority

Matter of J-J-, 21 I&N Dec. 976 (BIA 1997)

(1) A motion to reconsider a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals must be filed not later than 30 days after the mailing of the decision, or on or before July 31, 1996, whichever date is later. Only one motion to reconsider may be filed, and there is no exception to the time bar imposed on such motions.

(2) Only one motion to reopen is allowed and must be filed with the Board not later than 90 days after the date on which the final administrative decision was rendered, or on or before September 30, 1996, whichever date is later. An exception exists for motions to reopen to apply or reapply for asylum or withholding of deportation based on changed circumstances arising in the country of nationality, if evidence is presented that is material and was not available and could not have been discovered or presented at the former hearing.

(3) An appeal or motion is deemed filed when it is received at the Board, irrespective of whether the alien is in custody.

(4) The Board’s power to reopen or reconsider cases sua sponte is limited to exceptional circumstances and is not meant to cure filing defects or circumvent the regulations, where enforcing them might result in hardship.

Untimely Appeals

Matter of Lopez, 22 I&N Dec. 16 (BIA 1998)

Where the Board of Immigration Appeals dismisses an appeal as untimely, without adjudication on the merits, the Board retains jurisdiction over a motion to reconsider its dismissal of the untimely appeal to the extent that the motion challenges the finding of untimeliness or requests consideration of the reasons for untimeliness. Matter of Mladineo, 14 I&N Dec. 591 (BIA 1974), modified.

MOTIONS TO REMAND

Joint Motions

Matter of Yewondwosen, 21 I&N Dec. 1025 (BIA 1997)

Where an alien has not strictly complied with the regulatory requirements of 8 C.F.R. § 3.2(c)(1) (1997) by failing to submit an application for relief in support of a motion to reopen or remand, but the Immigration and Naturalization Service affirmatively joins the motion, the Board of Immigration Appeals or an Immigration Judge may still grant the motion.

Time and Number Limits

Matter of L-V-K-, 22 I&N Dec. 976 (BIA 1999)

(1) An Immigration Judge’s order of deportation becomes a final administrative decision upon an alien’s waiver of the right to appeal.

(2) Where an alien files a motion to remand during the pendency of an appeal from an Immigration Judge’s denial of a motion to reopen a final administrative decision and more than 90 days have passed since entry of that final administrative decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate the motion because it is time-barred by 8 C.F.R. §3.2(c)(2) (1999).

Matter of Oparah, 23 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 2000)

A motion to remand submitted during the pendency of an appeal from an Immigration Judge's denial of an untimely motion to reopen and filed after the entry of a final administrative decision does not cure the untimeliness of the initial motion to reopen, nor is it excepted from the numerical restriction that permits the filing of only one motion to reopen.

MOTIONS TO REOPEN

After In Absentia Order

Matter of J-G-, 26 I&N Dec. 161 (BIA 2013)

(1) An alien who is subject to an in absentia removal order need not first rescind the order before seeking reopening of the proceedings to apply for asylum and withholding of removal based on changed country conditions arising in the country of the alien’s nationality or the country to which removal has been ordered.

(2) The numerical limitations on filing a motion to reopen in 8 C.F.R. § 1003.23(b)(1) (2013) are not applicable to an alien seeking reopening to apply for asylum and withholding of removal based on changed country conditions arising in the country of the alien’s nationality or the country to which removal has been ordered.

Burden of Proof

Matter of L-O-G-, 21 I&N Dec. 413 (BIA 1996)

(1) Reopening may be had where the new facts alleged, together with the facts already of record, indicate a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits, so as to make it worthwhile to develop the issues at a hearing. Where ruling on a motion requires the exercise of judgment regarding eligibility for the relief sought, the Board does not require a conclusive showing that, assuming the facts alleged to be true, eligibility for relief has been established. By granting reopening the Board does not rule on the ultimate merits of the application for relief. Matter of Sipus, 14 I&N Dec. 229 (BIA 1972), reaffirmed.

(2) Reopening to apply for suspension of deportation is granted where 1) the 15-year-old respondent has lived in the United States since the age of 6; 2) the adult respondent, her mother, also has a 6-year-old United States citizen child; 3) the respondents are from a country where economic and political conditions are poor; and 4) the respondents have been covered by the Nicaraguan Review Program since 1987.

Matter of Beckford, 22 I&N Dec. 1216 (BIA 2000)

(1) Where an alien has filed an untimely motion to reopen alleging that the Immigration and Naturalization Service failed to prove the alien’s removability, the burden of proof no longer lies with the Service to establish removability, but shifts to the alien to demonstrate that an exceptional situation exists that warrants reopening by the Board of Immigration Appeals on its own motion.

(2) Where an alien seeking to reopen removal proceedings failed to demonstrate a substantial likelihood that the result in his case would be changed if the proceedings were reopened, by showing that he was not, in fact, removable, he failed to present an exceptional situation to warrant a grant of his untimely motion.

Matter of Lamus, 25 I&N Dec. 61 (BIA 2009)

A motion to reopen to apply for adjustment of status based on a marriage entered into after the commencement of removal proceedings may not be denied under the fifth factor enumerated in Matter of Velarde, 23 I&N Dec. 253 (BIA 2002), based on the mere fact that the Government has filed an opposition to the motion, without regard to the merit of that opposition.

Coercive Family Planning Claims

Matter of X-G-W-, 22 I&N Dec. 71 (BIA 1998) (superseded by Matter of G-C-L-, 23 I&N Dec. 359 (BIA 2002)

Due to a fundamental change in the definition of a “refugee” brought about by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Division C of Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-546, the Board of Immigration Appeals will allow reopening of proceedings to pursue asylum claims based on coerced population control policies, notwithstanding the time and number limitations on motions specified in 8 C.F.R. § 3.2 (1997).

Matter of G-C-L-, 23 I&N Dec. 359 (BIA 2002)

The Board of Immigration Appeals withdraws from its policy of granting untimely motions to reopen by applicants claiming eligibility for asylum based solely on coercive population control policies, effective 90 days from the date of this decision. Matter of X-G-W-, 22 I&N Dec. 71 (BIA 1998), superseded.

Matter of C-C-, 23 I&N Dec. 899 (BIA 2006)

An alien seeking to reopen removal proceedings based on a claim that the birth of a second child in the United States will result in the alien’s forced sterilization in China cannot establish prima facie eligibility for relief where the evidence submitted with the motion and the relevant country conditions reports do not indicate that Chinese nationals returning to that country with foreign-born children have been subjected to forced sterilization in the alien’s home province. Guo v. Ashcroft, 386 F.3d 556 (3d Cir. 2004), distinguished.

Matter of S-Y-G-, 24 I&N Dec. 247 (BIA 2007)

In her motion to reopen proceedings to pursue her asylum claim, the applicant did not meet the heavy burden to show that her proffered evidence is material and reflects “changed circumstances arising in the country of nationality” to support the motion where the documents submitted reflect general birth planning policies in her home province that do not specifically show any likelihood that she or similarly situated Chinese nationals will be persecuted as a result of the birth of a second child in the United States.

Matter of C-W-L-, 24 I&N Dec. 346 (BIA 2007)

An alien who is subject to a final order of removal is barred by both statute and regulation from filing an untimely motion to reopen removal proceedings to submit a successive asylum application under section 208(a)(2)(D) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1158(a)(2)(D) (2000), based on changed personal circumstances.

Deadlines

Matter of Goolcharan, 23 I&N Dec. 5 (BIA 2001)

The regulatory deadline for filing a motion to reopen or motion to reconsider before the Immigration Judge is determined by the date on which the Immigration Judge entered a final administrative order, and the regulatory deadline is not affected by subsequent actions taken by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the course of executing the Immigration Judge’s order.

Joint Motions

Matter of Yewondwosen, 21 I&N Dec. 1025 (BIA 1997)

Where an alien has not strictly complied with the regulatory requirements of 8 C.F.R. § 3.2(c)(1) (1997) by failing to submit an application for relief in support of a motion to reopen or remand, but the Immigration and Naturalization Service affirmatively joins the motion, the Board of Immigration Appeals or an Immigration Judge may still grant the motion.

Jurisdiction

Matter of Crammond, 23 I&N Dec. 179 (BIA 2001) (vacating Matter of Crammond, 23 I&N Dec. 9 (BIA 2001)

(1) The Board of Immigration Appeals lacks jurisdiction over a motion to reopen where the motion is withdrawn, within the meaning of 8 C.F.R. § 3.2(d) (2001), by the departure of the alien from the United States prior to a ruling on the motion.

(2) When the Board is presented with evidence that it has granted a motion to reopen after the alien's departure from the United States, it is appropriate to reconsider and vacate the prior order on jurisdictional grounds. Matter of Crammond, 23 I&N Dec. 9 (BIA 2001), vacated.

Matter of Armendarez, 24 I&N Dec. 646 (BIA 2008)

Pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 1003.2(d) (2008), the Board of Immigration Appeals lacks authority to reopen removal, deportation, or exclusion proceedings–whether on motion of an alien or sua sponte–if the alien has departed the United States after those administrative proceedings have been completed.

Matter of Bulnes, 25 I&N Dec. 57 (BIA 2009)

An alien’s departure from the United States while under an outstanding order of deportation or removal issued in absentia does not deprive the Immigration Judge of jurisdiction to entertain a motion to reopen to rescind the order if the motion is premised upon lack of notice.

Matter of Yauri, 25 I&N Dec. 103 (BIA 2009)

(1) With a narrow exception not applicable to this case, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate an arriving alien’s application for adjustment of status under 8 C.F.R. §245.2(a)(1) (2009) and agrees that it retains jurisdiction to adjudicate the application even where an unexecuted administratively final order of removal remains outstanding.

(2) The Board of Immigration Appeals generally lacks authority to reopen the proceedings of aliens under final orders of exclusion, deportation, or removal who seek to pursue relief over which the Board and the Immigration Judges have no jurisdiction, especially where reopening is sought simply as a mechanism to stay the final order while the collateral matter is resolved by the agency or court having jurisdiction to do so.

(3) With regard to untimely or number-barred motions to reopen, the Board will not generally exercise its discretion to reopen proceedings sua sponte for an arriving alien to pursue adjustment of status before the USCIS.

Sua Sponte Authority

Matter of J-J-, 21 I&N Dec. 976 (BIA 1997)

(1) A motion to reconsider a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals must be filed not later than 30 days after the mailing of the decision, or on or before July 31, 1996, whichever date is later. Only one motion to reconsider may be filed, and there is no exception to the time bar imposed on such motions.

(2) Only one motion to reopen is allowed and must be filed with the Board not later than 90 days after the date on which the final administrative decision was rendered, or on or before September 30, 1996, whichever date is later. An exception exists for motions to reopen to apply or reapply for asylum or withholding of deportation based on changed circumstances arising in the country of nationality, if evidence is presented that is material and was not available and could not have been discovered or presented at the former hearing.

(3) An appeal or motion is deemed filed when it is received at the Board, irrespective of whether the alien is in custody.

(4) The Board’s power to reopen or reconsider cases sua sponte is limited to exceptional circumstances and is not meant to cure filing defects or circumvent the regulations, where enforcing them might result in hardship.

Matter of G-D-, 22 I&N Dec. 1132 (BIA 1999)

In order for a change in the law to qualify as an exceptional situation that merits the exercise of discretion by the Board of Immigration Appeals to reopen or reconsider a case sua sponte, the change must be fundamental in nature and not merely an incremental development in the state of the law.

Matter of Yauri, 25 I&N Dec. 103 (BIA 2009)

(1) With a narrow exception not applicable to this case, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate an arriving alien’s application for adjustment of status under 8 C.F.R. §245.2(a)(1) (2009) and agrees that it retains jurisdiction to adjudicate the application even where an unexecuted administratively final order of removal remains outstanding.

(2) The Board of Immigration Appeals generally lacks authority to reopen the proceedings of aliens under final orders of exclusion, deportation, or removal who seek to pursue relief over which the Board and the Immigration Judges have no jurisdiction, especially where reopening is sought simply as a mechanism to stay the final order while the collateral matter is resolved by the agency or court having jurisdiction to do so.

(3) With regard to untimely or number-barred motions to reopen, the Board will not generally exercise its discretion to reopen proceedings sua sponte for an arriving alien to pursue adjustment of status before the USCIS.

Time and Number Limits

Matter of H-A-, 22 I&N Dec. 728 (BIA 1999) (modified, Matter of Velarde-Pacheco, 23 I&N Dec. 253 (BIA 2002)

Matter of Arthur, 20 I&N Dec. 475 (BIA 1992), is not inconsistent with the motions to reopen regulations at 8 C.F.R. §§ 3.2(c)(2) and 3.23(b)(4)(i) (effective July 1, 1996). Matter of Arthur, supra, reaffirmed.

Matter of Susma, 22 I&N Dec. 947 (BIA 1999)

(1) Pursuant to 8 C.F.R. §3.2(c)(2) (1999), a motion to reopen must be filed no later than 90 days after the date of the final administrative decision of the Immigration Judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals.

(2) A motion to reopen a decision of the Board following judicial review is untimely if it is filed more than 90 days after the date of the Board’s decision, even if the motion is filed within 90 days of the order of the court.

Matter of Oparah, 23 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 2000)

A motion to remand submitted during the pendency of an appeal from an Immigration Judge's denial of an untimely motion to reopen and filed after the entry of a final administrative decision does not cure the untimeliness of the initial motion to reopen, nor is it excepted from the numerical restriction that permits the filing of only one motion to reopen.

Matter of Velarde-Pacheco, 23 I&N Dec. 253 (BIA 2002)

A properly filed motion to reopen for adjustment of status based on a marriage entered into after the commencement of proceedings may be granted in the exercise of discretion, notwithstanding the pendency of a visa petition filed on the alien's behalf, where: (1) the motion to reopen is timely filed; (2) the motion is not numerically barred by the regulations; (3) the motion is not barred by Matter of Shaar, 21I&N Dec. 541 (BIA 1996), or on any other procedural grounds; (4) clear and convincing evidence is presented indicating a strong likelihood that the marriage is bona fide; and (5) the Immigration and Naturalization Service does not oppose the motion or bases its opposition solely on Matter of Arthur, 20I&N Dec. 475 (BIA 1992). Matter of H-A-, 22 I&N Dec. 728 (BIA 1999), and Matter of Arthur, supra, modified.

Matter of C-W-L-, 24 I&N Dec. 346 (BIA 2007)

An alien who is subject to a final order of removal is barred by both statute and regulation from filing an untimely motion to reopen removal proceedings to submit a successive asylum application under section 208(a)(2)(D) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1158(a)(2)(D) (2000), based on changed personal circumstances.

Matter of Noemi MONGES-Garcia, 25 I&N Dec. 246 (BIA 2010)

(1) The 90-day time limitation for filing a motion to reopen in 8 C.F.R. § 1003.23(b)(1) (2010) applies to motions to reopen in absentia deportation orders for the purpose of adjusting status, whether filed before or after the 1996 promulgation of the regulations. (2) The 5-year limitation on discretionary relief for failure to appear at deportation proceedings under former section 242B(e)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1252b(e)(1) (1994), is not in conflict with, and does not provide an exceptionto, the 90-day deadline for filing a motion to reopen in 8 C.F.R. § 1003.23(b)(1).

Voluntary Departure

Matter of Shaar, 21 I&N Dec. 541 (BIA 1996)

(1) An alien who has filed a motion to reopen during the pendency of a voluntary departure period in order to apply for suspension of deportation and who subsequently remains in the United States after the scheduled date of departure is statutorily ineligible for suspension of deportation pursuant to section 242B(e)(2)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1252b(e)(2)(A) (Supp. V 1993), if the notice requirements of that section have been satisfied, absent a showing that the alien's failure to timely depart the United States was due to "exceptional circumstances" under section 242B(f)(2) of the Act.

(2) Neither the filing of a motion to reopen to apply for suspension of deportation during the pendency of a period of voluntary departure, nor the Immigration Judge's failure to adjudicate the motion to reopen prior to the expiration of the alien's voluntary departure period constitutes an "exceptional circumstance."

NATURALIZATION

Matter of Acosta-Hidalgo, 24 I&N Dec, 103 (BIA 2007)

(1) Because the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Immigration Judges lack jurisdiction to adjudicate applications for naturalization, removal proceedings may only be terminated pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 1239.2(f) (2006) where the Department of Homeland Security has presented an affirmative communication attesting to an alien’s prima facie eligibility for naturalization. Matter of Cruz, 15 I&N Dec. 236 (BIA 1975), reaffirmed.

(2) An adjudication by the Department of Homeland Security on the merits of an alien’s naturalization application while removal proceedings are pending is not an affirmative communication of the alien’s prima facie eligibility for naturalization that would permit termination of proceedings under 8 C.F.R. § 1239.2(f).

Matter of Baires, 24 I&N Dec. 467 (BIA 2008)

A child who has satisfied the statutory conditions of former section 321(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1432(a) (1988), before the age of 18 years has acquired United States citizenship, regardless of whether the naturalized parent acquired legal custody of the child before or after the naturalization.

Matter of Gonzales-Muro, 24 I&N Dec. 472 (BIA 2008)

A denaturalized alien who committed crimes while a lawful permanent resident and concealed them during the naturalization application process is removable on the basis of the crimes, even though the alien was a naturalized citizen at the time of conviction. Costello v. INS, 376 U.S. 120 (1964), distinguished.

Matter of Chawathe, 25 I&N Dec. 369 (AAO 2010)

(1) For purposes of establishing the requisite continuous residence in naturalization proceedings pursuant to section 316(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1427(b) (2006), a publicly held corporation may be deemed an “American firm or corporation” if the applicant establishes that the corporation is both incorporated in the United States and trades its stock exclusively on U.S. stock exchange markets.

(2) When an applicant’s employer is a publicly held corporation that is incorporated in the United States and trades its stock exclusively on U.S. stock markets, the applicant need not demonstrate the nationality of the corporation by establishing the nationality of those persons who own more than 51% of the stock of that firm. Matter of Warrach, 17 I&N Dec. 285, 286-87 (Reg. Comm’r 1979), clarified.

(3) In most administrative immigration proceedings, the applicant must prove by a preponderance of evidence that he or she is eligible for the benefit sought.

(4) Even if the director has some doubt as to the truth, if the petitioner submits relevant, probative, and credible evidence that leads the director to believe that the claim is “more likely than not” or “probably” true, the applicant has satisfied the standard of proof. Matter of E-M-, 20 I&N Dec. 77, 79-80 (Comm’r 1989), followed.

(5) If the director can articulate a material doubt, it is appropriate for the director to either request additional evidence or, if that doubt leads the director to believe that the claim is probably not true, deny the application or petition.

ORDERS TO SHOW CAUSE

Matter of Hernandez, 21 I&N Dec. 224 (BIA 1996)

(1) The violation of 8 C.F.R. § 242.1(c) (1995), which requires that the contents of an Order to Show Cause and Notice of Hearing (Form I-221) be explained to an alien under certain circumstances, does not necessarily result in prejudice to the alien.

(2) Where an alien raises the issue of violation of 8 C.F.R. § 242.1(c), and the Immigration Judge finds that the alien was prejudiced by such violation, the Immigration Judge, where possible, can and should take corrective action short of termination of the proceedings.

(3) The explanation requirement of 8 C.F.R. § 242.1(c) is not jurisdictional. As long as the statutory requirements regarding the Order to Show Cause and regarding notice of deportation proceedings are satisfied, and the alien appears for the scheduled hearing, service of the order without prior explanation of its contents by the Service is sufficient to confer jurisdiction over the alien.

PAROLE

Matter of Castillo-Padilla, 25 I&N Dec. 257 (BIA 2010)

(1) Conditional parole under section 236(a)(2)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1226(a)(2)(B) (2006), is a distinct and different procedure from parole under section 212(d)(5)(A) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(d)(5)(A) (2006).

(2) An alien who was released from custody on conditional parole pursuant to section 236(a)(2)(B) of the Act has not been “paroled into the United States” for purposes of establishing eligibility for adjustment of status under section 245(a) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1255(a) (2006).

PROTECTIVE ORDERS

Matter of R-S-H-, 23 I&N Dec. 629 (BIA 2003)

(1) Under 8 C.F.R. § 1003.46(i) (formerly 8 C.F.R. § 3.46(i)), the mandatory consequence for violating a protective order is that the respondent becomes ineligible for any form of discretionary relief, except for bond.

(2) The mandatory consequence for breaching a protective order will be applied unless a respondent fully cooperates with the Government in any investigation relating to the noncompliance and, additionally, establishes by clear and convincing evidence either that extraordinary and extremely unusual circumstances exist or that failure to comply with the protective order was beyond the control of the respondent and his or her attorney or accredited representative.

(3) The presence of federal employees, including court personnel or Department of Justice attorneys, at a closed hearing where a protective order is discussed does not violate the protective order regulations.

(4) The respondent is ineligible for any form of discretionary relief, except for bond, because a protective order issued by the Immigration Judge was violated by disclosure of protected information to unauthorized persons.

REAL ID ACT

Matter of S-B-, 24 I&N Dec. 42 (BIA 2006)

(1) The provisions regarding credibility determinations enacted in section 101(a)(3) of the REAL ID Act of 2005, Div. B of Pub. L. No. 109-13, 119 Stat. 231, 303 (effective May 11, 2005) (to be codified at section 208(b)(1)(B)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(iii)), only apply to applications for asylum, withholding, and other relief from removal that were initially filed on or after May 11, 2005, whether with an asylum officer or an Immigration Judge.

(2) Where the respondent filed his applications for relief with an asylum officer prior to the May 11, 2005, effective date of section 208(b)(1)(B)(iii) of the Act, but renewed his applications in removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge subsequent to that date, the provisions of section 208(b)(1)(B)(iii) were not applicable to credibility determinations made in adjudicating his applications.

Matter of Almanza-Arenas, 24 I&N Dec. 771 (BIA 2009)

(1) An alien whose application for relief from removal was filed after the May 11, 2005, effective date of the REAL ID Act of 2005, Division B of Pub. L. No. 109-13, 119 Stat. 231 (“REAL ID Act”), has the burden to prove that he satisfies the applicable eligibility requirements and merits a favorable exercise of discretion under section 240(c)(4)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(c)(4)(A) (2006), and must provide corroborating evidence requested by the Immigration Judge pursuant to section 240(c)(4)(B), unless it cannot be reasonably obtained.

(2) An alien whose application for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1) (2006), is governed by the provisions of the REAL ID Act, and who has been convicted of an offense under a divisible criminal statute, has the burden to establish that the conviction was not pursuant to any part of the statute that reaches conduct involving moral turpitude, including the burden to produce corroborating conviction documents, such as a transcript of the criminal proceedings, as reasonably requested by the Immigration Judge. Sandoval-Lua v. Gonzales, 499 F.3d 1121 (9th Cir. 2007), distinguished.

(3) An alien who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude has been “convicted of an offense under” section 237(a)(2) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2) (2006), and is therefore ineligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(C), regardless of his status as an arriving alien or his eligibility for a petty offense exception under section 212(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II) (2006).

"1 Central Reason" Requirement

Matter of N-M-, 25 I&N Dec. 526 (BIA 2011)

(1) Opposition to state corruption may, in some circumstances, constitute the expressionof political opinion or give a persecutor a reason to impute such an opinion to an alien.

(2) For claims arising under the REAL ID Act of 2005, Division B of Pub. L. No. 109-13,< 119 Stat. 302, a showing of retaliation for opposing governmental corruption is, by itself, insufficient to establish eligibility for relief; instead, an alien must persuade the trier of fact that his or her actual or imputed anticorruption belief (or other protected trait) was one central reason for the harm.

(3) In making the nexus determination, an Immigration Judge should consider: (1) whether and to what extent the alien engaged in activities that could be perceived as expressions of anticorruption beliefs; (2) any direct or circumstantial evidence that the persecutor was motivated by the alien’s actual or perceived anticorruption beliefs; and (3) any evidenceregarding the pervasiveness of corruption within the governing regime

RECOGNITION AND ACCREDITATION

Matter of Chaplain Services, 21 I&N Dec. 578 (BIA 1996)

(1) In an application for recognition, an applicant must respond to and successfully rebut an adverse recommendation made by the district director, even when such recommendation has been made in a prior recognition proceeding involving the applicant.

(2) Denial of the applicant's recognition request is justified by unrebutted allegations in the district director's recommendation made in prior recognition proceedings that the applicant's personnel supplied clients with misinformation; that the applicant improperly submitted Notices of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative (Forms G-28) on behalf of a purportedly associated attorney who never performed services; that the applicant's clients had been charged excessive amounts for services in spite of the applicant's fee list which reflects nominal charges; and that the member of the applicant's staff upon whose expertise the applicant relies has been the subject of complaints for the unauthorized practice of law.

Matter of EAC, Inc., 24 I&N Dec. 556 (BIA 2008)

(1) The process of recognition is designed to evaluate the qualifications of only those nonprofit organizations that provide knowledgeable legal assistance to low-income aliens in matters involving immigration law and procedure.

(2) In order to establish that it has adequate knowledge of immigration law and procedure, an organization seeking recognition must have sufficient access to legal resources, which may include electronic or internet access, as well as resources provided by a law library.

(3) An organization seeking recognition must show that it has either a local attorney who is on the staff, offering pro bono services, or providing consultation under a formal arrangement; a fully accredited representative; or a partially accredited representative with access to additional expertise.

(4) A recognized organization that does not offer a full range of immigration legal services or whose staff is not sufficiently experienced to handle more complex immigration issues must have the ability to discern when it should direct aliens to seek other legal assistance.

Matter of EAC, Inc., 24 I&N Dec. 563 (BIA 2008)

(1) All accredited representatives on the staff of a recognized organization must have a broad knowledge of immigration law and procedure, even if the organization only intends to provide limited services through one or more partially accredited representatives.

(2) In order to show that a proposed accredited representative has the broad knowledge and experience in immigration law and procedure required by 8 C.F.R. § 1292.2(d) (2008), a recognized organization should submit the individual’s resume, letters of recommendation, and evidence of immigration training completed, including detailed descriptions of the topics addressed.

Matter of Central California Legal Services, Inc., 26 I&N Dec. 105 (BIA 2013)

A recognized organization’s application for initial accreditation of a proposed representative must show that the individual has recently completed at least one formal training course that was designed to give new practitioners a solid overview of the fundamentals of immigration law and procedure.

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