Volume 27

BAY AREA LEGAL SERVICES, INC., 27 I&N Dec. 837 (DIR 2020)

ID 3984 (PDF)

(1) The Assistant Director for Policy has the discretion to extend the deadline for a request for reconsideration made pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 1292.13(e), but not for a request for reconsideration made pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 1292.16(f) or § 1292.17(d). The 30-day deadline for a request for reconsideration in 8 C.F.R. § 1292.13(e), § 1292.16(f), and § 1292.17(d) is otherwise mandatory and not subject to equitable tolling.

(2) A request for reconsideration made pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 1292.13(e), § 1292.16(f), or § 1292.17(d) must demonstrate an error of fact or law in the previous decision.

(3) The standard of review for administrative reviews conducted under 8 C.F.R. § 1292.18 is de novo.

(4) Unless overruled by subsequent precedent or superseded by statute, regulation, or binding federal court decision, prior precedent decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals remain binding in recognition and accreditation proceedings after January 18, 2017, including consideration of requests for reconsideration pursuant to 8 C.F.R. §§ 1292.13(e), 1292.16(f), or 1292.17(d) and administrative reviews conducted under 8 C.F.R. § 1292.18.

(5) In addition to establishing the requirements for partial accreditation, an organization seeking full accreditation for an individual pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 1292.12(a)(6) must establish that the individual possesses "skills essential for effective litigation." Such skills include, at a minimum, "the ability to advocate a client's position at a hearing before an Immigration Judge by presenting documentary evidence and questioning witnesses, to present oral arguments before the Board, and to prepare motions and briefs for consideration by an Immigration Judge and/or [the] Board." Matter of EAC, Inc., 24 I&N Dec. 556 (BIA 2008), followed.


HERRERA-VASQUEZ, 27 I&N Dec. 825 (BIA 2020) ID 3983 (PDF)

The absence of a checked alien classification box on a Notice to Appear (Form I-862) does not, by itself, render the notice to appear fatally deficient or otherwise preclude an Immigration Judge from exercising jurisdiction over removal proceedings, and it is therefore not a basis to terminate the proceedings of an alien who has been returned to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols. Matter of J.J. Rodriguez, 27 I&N Dec. 762 (BIA 2020), followed.


K-S-E-, 27 I&N Dec. 818 (BIA 2020) ID 3982 (PDF)

For purposes of determining whether an alien is subject to the firm resettlement bar to asylum, a viable and available offer to apply for permanent residence in a country of refuge is not negated by the alien’s unwillingness or reluctance to satisfy the terms for acceptance.


J-J-G-, 27 I&N Dec. 808 (BIA 2020) ID 3981 (PDF)

(1) The exceptional and extremely unusual hardship for cancellation of removal is based on a cumulative consideration of all hardship factors, but to the extent that a claim is based on the health of a qualifying relative, an applicant needs to establish that the relative has a serious medical condition and, if he or she is accompanying the applicant to the country of removal, that adequate medical care for the claimed condition is not reasonably available in that country.

(2) The Immigration Judge properly determined that the respondent did not establish eligibility for cancellation of removal because he did not demonstrate that his qualifying relatives will experience hardship, including medical, economic, and emotional hardship, that rises to the level of exceptional and extremely unusual.


R-A-V-P-, 27 I&N Dec. 803 (BIA 2020) ID 3980 (PDF)

The Immigration Judge properly determined that the respondent was a flight risk and denied his request for a custody redetermination where, although he had a pending application for asylum, he had no family, employment, or community ties and no probable path to obtain lawful status so as to warrant his release on bond.


W-E-R-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 795 (BIA 2020) ID 3979 (PDF)

(1) An Interpol Red Notice may constitute reliable evidence that indicates the serious nonpolitical crime bar for asylum and withholding of removal applies to an alien.

(2) The respondent’s violation of article 345 of the Salvadoran Penal Code, which proscribes participation in an illicit organization whose purpose is the commission of crimes, was “serious” within the meaning of the serious nonpolitical crime bar.


JIMENEZ-CEDILLO, 27 IN Dec. 782 (BIA 2020) ID 3978 (PDF)

Sexual solicitation of a minor in violation of section 3-324(b) of the Maryland Criminal Law with the intent to engage in an unlawful sexual offense under section 3-307 is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude. Matter of Jimenez-Cedillo, 27 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 2017), reaffirmed.


R‑A‑F‑ , 27 I&N Dec. 778 (A.G. 2020) ID 3977 (PDF)

(1) The Board of Immigration Appeals should consider de novo the application of law to the facts of this case, including whether the deprivations that the respondent would be likely to encounter upon removal to Mexico would constitute "torture" within the meaning of the Department of Justice regulations implementing the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Dec. 10, 1984, S. Treaty Doc. No. 100-20, 1465 U.N.T.S. 85 (entered into force for United States Nov. 20, 1994).

(2) To constitute "torture" under these regulations, an act must, among other things, "be specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering." 8 C.F.R. § 1208.18(a)(5). "‘[T]orture’ does not cover ‘negligent acts’ or harm stemming from a lack of resources." Matter of J-R-G-P-, 27 I&N Dec. 482, 484 (BIA 2018) (citing Matter of J-E-, 23 I&N Dec. 291, 299, 301 (BIA 2002)).

(3) To constitute "torture," an act must also be motivated by "such purposes as obtaining from him or her or a third person information or a confession, punishing him or her for an act he or she or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or her or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind." 8 C.F.R. § 1208.18(a)(1).


E-R-A-L- 27 I&N Dec. 767 (BIA 2020) ID 3976 (PDF)

(1) An alien’s status as a landowner does not automatically render that alien a member of a particular social group for purposes of asylum and withholding of removal. 

(2) To establish a particular social group based on landownership, an alien must demonstrate by evidence in the record that members of the proposed group share an immutable characteristic and that the group is defined with particularity and is perceived to be socially distinct in the society in question.

(3) The respondent’s proposed particular social groups—comprised of landowners and landowners who resist drug cartels in Guatemala—are not valid based on the evidence in the record.


J.J. RODRIGUEZ, 27 I&N Dec. 762 (BIA 2020) ID 3975 (PDF)

Where the Department of Homeland Security returns an alien to Mexico to await an immigration hearing pursuant to the Migrant Protection Protocols and provides the alien with sufficient notice of that hearing, an Immigration Judge should enter an in absentia order of removal if the alien fails to appear for the hearing.


MAYEN, 27 I&N Dec. 755 (BIA 2020) ID 3974 (PDF)

In assessing whether to grant an alien’s request for a continuance regarding an application for collateral relief, the alien’s prima facie eligibility for relief and whether it will materially affect the outcome of proceedings are not dispositive, especially where other factors—including the uncertainty as to when the relief will be approved or become available—weigh against granting a continuance.


ROSALES VARGAS and ROSALES ROSALES, 27 I&N Dec. 745 (BIA 2020) ID 3973 (PDF)

 A notice to appear that does not include the address of the Immigration Court where the Department of Homeland Security will file the charging document, see 8 C.F.R. § 1003.15(b)(6) (2019), or include a certificate of service indicating the Immigration Court in which the charging document is filed, see 8 C.F.R. § 1003.14(a) (2019), does not deprive the Immigration Court of subject matter jurisdiction.


SALAD, 27 I&N Dec. 733 (BIA 2020) ID 3972 (PDF)

 The offense of making terroristic threats in violation of section 609.713, subdivision 1, of the Minnesota Statutes is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude.


Y-I-M-, 27 I&N Dec. 724 (BIA 2019)  ID 3971 (PDF)

(1)  An Immigration Judge may rely on inconsistencies to support an adverse credibility finding as long as either the Immigration Judge, the applicant, or the Department of Homeland Security has identified the discrepancies and the applicant has been given an opportunity to explain them during the hearing.

(2)  An Immigration Judge may, but is not required to, personally identify an obvious inconsistency where it is reasonable to assume that the applicant was aware of it and had an opportunity to offer an explanation before the Immigration Judge relied on it.


O-F-A-S-, 27 I&N Dec. 709 (BIA 2019)  ID 3970 (PDF)

(1) Torturous conduct committed by a public official who is acting “in an official capacity,” that is, “under color of law” is covered by the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted and opened for signature Dec. 10, 1984, G.A. Res. 39/46, 39 U.N. GAOR Supp. No. 51, at 197, U.N. Doc. A/RES/39/708 (1984) (entered into force June 26, 1987; for the United States Apr. 18, 1988), but such conduct by an official who is not acting in an official capacity, also known as a “rogue official,” is not covered by the Convention.

(2) The key consideration in determining if a public official was acting under color of law is whether he was able to engage in torturous conduct because of his government position or if he could have done so without a connection to the government.


REYES, 27 I&N Dec. 708 (A.G. 2019) ID 3969 (PDF)

The Acting Attorney General referred the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals to himself for review of the following issue:

Whether an alien who has been convicted of a criminal offense necessarily has been convicted of an aggravated felony for purposes of 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii), where all of the elements of the underlying statute of conviction, and thus all of the means of committing the offense, correspond either to an aggravated felony theft offense, as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G), or to an aggravated felony fraud offense, as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(M)(i).


X-Q-L-, 27 I&N Dec. 704 (BIA 2019)  ID 3968 (PDF)

Reopening of proceedings to terminate a grant of asylum is warranted if the Department of Homeland Security has demonstrated that evidence of fraud in the original proceeding was not previously available and is material because, if known, it would likely have opened up lines of inquiry that could call the alien’s eligibility for asylum into doubt.


C-A-S-D-, 27 I&N Dec. 692 (BIA 2019) ID 3967 (PDF)

(1) To qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility under section 209(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1159(c) (2012), an alien who is found to be a violent or dangerous individual must establish extraordinary circumstances, which may be demonstrated by a showing of exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the alien or to his qualifying relatives. Matter of Jean, 23 I&N Dec. 373 (A.G. 2002), followed.

(2) Even if an alien establishes exceptional and extremely unusual hardship, the favorable and adverse factors presented must be balanced to determine if a waiver should be granted in the exercise of discretion.


THOMAS and THOMPSON, 27 I&N Dec. 674 (A.G 2019) ID 3966 (PDF)

 (1) The tests set forth in Matter of Cota-Vargas, Matter of Song, and Matter of Estrada will no longer govern the effect of state-court orders that modify, clarify, or otherwise alter a criminal alien’s sentence.

(2) Such state-court orders will be given effect for immigration purposes only if based on a procedural or substantive defect in the underlying criminal proceeding; these orders will have no effect for immigration purposes if based on reasons unrelated to the merits of the underlying criminal proceeding, such as rehabilitation or the avoidance of immigration consequences.


CASTILLO-PEREZ, 27 I&N Dec. 664 (A.G. 2019) ID 3965 (PDF)

(1) The Immigration and Nationality Act’s “good moral character” standard requires adherence to the generally accepted moral conventions of the community, and criminal activity is probative of non-adherence to those conventions. 

(2) Evidence of two or more convictions for driving under the influence during the relevant period establishes a presumption that an alien lacks good moral character under INA § 101(f), 8 U.S.C. § 1101(f). 

(3) Because only aliens who possessed good moral character for a 10-year period are eligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b), such evidence also presumptively establishes that the alien’s application for that discretionary relief should be denied.


CORDERO-GARCIA , 27 I&N Dec. 652 (BIA 2019) ID 3964 (PDF)

 (1) The crime of dissuading a witness in violation of section 136.1(b)(1) of the California Penal Code is categorically an aggravated felony offense relating to obstruction of justice under section 101(a)(43)(S) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(S) (2012). Matter of Valenzuela Gallardo, 27 I&N Dec. 449 (BIA 2018), followed.

(2) The holding in Matter of Valenzuela Gallardo, 27 I&N Dec. 449 (BIA 2018), may be applied retroactively.


J-G-P-, 27 I&N Dec. 642 (BIA 2019) ID 3963 (PDF)

(1) The offense of menacing in violation of section 163.190 of the Oregon Revised Statutes is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude.

(2) The element of actual inflicted fear is not necessary to determine that a crime categorically involves moral turpitude where the State statute requires evil or malicious intent, and the level of threatened harm, or magnitude of menace implicit in the threat, is serious and immediate. Matter of Solon, 24 I&N Dec. 239 (BIA 2007), distinguished.


H-G-G-, 27 I&N Dec. 617 (AAO 2019) ID 3962 (PDF)

 For purposes of adjustment of status under section 245 of the Act, a recipient of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is considered as being in and maintaining lawful status as a nonimmigrant only during the period that TPS is in effect; a grant of TPS does not constitute an admission, nor does it cure or otherwise impact any previous unlawful status.


GONZALEZ LEMUS, 27 I&N Dec. 612 (BIA 2019)
 
ID 3961 (PDF)

(1) Because the identity of the drug involved is an element of the crime of possession of a controlled substance under section 124.401(5) of the Iowa Code, the statute is divisible (in the case of marijuana, methamphetamine, or amphetamine) as to the specific drug involved, and the record of conviction can be examined under the modified categorical approach to determine whether that drug is a controlled substance under Federal law.

(2) The respondent’s conviction for possession of methamphetamine in violation of section 124.401(5) of the Iowa Code is a violation of a law relating to a controlled substance under section 237(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i) (2012).


P. SINGH, 27 I&N Dec. 598 (BIA 2019) ID 3960 (PDF)

(1) The standard of proof necessary to bar the approval of a visa petition based on marriage fraud under section 204(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1154(c) (2012), is "substantial and probative evidence."

(2) The degree of proof necessary to constitute "substantial and probative evidence" is more than a preponderance of evidence, but less than clear and convincing evidence; that is, the evidence has to be more than probably true that the marriage is fraudulent.

(3) The nature, quality, quantity, and credibility of the evidence of marriage fraud contained in the record should be considered in its totality in determining if it is "substantial and probative."

(4) The application of the "substantial and probative evidence" standard requires the examination of all of the relevant evidence and a determination as to whether such evidence, when viewed in its totality, establishes, with sufficient probability, that the marriage is fraudulent.

(5) Both direct and circumstantial evidence may be considered in determining whether there is "substantial and probative evidence" of marriage fraud under section 204(c) of the Act, and circumstantial evidence alone may be sufficient to constitute "substantial and probative evidence."


L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 581 (A.G. 2019)  ID 3959 (PDF)

 (1) In Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 40 (BIA 2018), the Board of Immigration Appeals improperly recognized the respondent’s father’s immediate family as a "particular social group" for purposes of qualifying for asylum under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

(2) All asylum applicants seeking to establish membership in a "particular social group," including groups defined by family or kinship ties, must establish that the group is (1) composed of members who share a common immutable characteristic; (2) defined with particularity; and (3) socially distinct within the society in question.

(3) While the Board has recognized certain clans and subclans as "particular social groups," most nuclear families are not inherently socially distinct and therefore do not qualify as "particular social groups."

(4) The portion of the Board’s decision recognizing the respondent’s proposed particular social group is overruled. See Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. at 42–43 (Part II.A). The rest of the Board’s decision, including its analysis of the required nexus between alleged persecution and the alleged protected ground, is affirmed. See id. at 43–47 (Part II.B).


D-A-C-, 27 I&N Dec. 575 (BIA 2019) ID 3958 (PDF)

Immigration Judges have the authority to deny an application for temporary protected status in the exercise of discretion.


ZHANG, 27 I&N Dec. 569 (BIA 2019) ID 3957 (PDF)

(1) Under the plain language of section 237(a)(3)(D)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(3)(D)(i) (2012), it is not necessary to show intent to establish that an alien is deportable for making a false representation of United States citizenship.

(2) Although a Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550) is evidence of United States citizenship, the certificate itself does not confer citizenship status if it is acquired unlawfully.


NAVARRO GUADARRAMA, 27 I&N Dec. 560 (BIA 2019) ID 3956 (PDF)

Where an alien has been convicted of violating a State drug statute that includes a controlled substance that is not on the Federal controlled substances schedules, he or she must establish a realistic probability that the State would actually apply the language of the statute to prosecute conduct involving that substance in order to avoid the immigration consequences of such a conviction. Matter of Ferreira, 26 I&N Dec. 415 (BIA 2014), reaffirmed.


ANDRADE JASO and CARBAJAL AYALA, 27 I&N Dec. 557 (BIA 2019) ID 3955 (PDF)

An Immigration Judge has the authority to dismiss removal proceedings pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 239.2(a)(7) (2018) upon a finding that it is an abuse of the asylum process to file a meritless asylum application with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for the sole purpose of seeking cancellation of removal in the Immigration Court.


THOMAS and THOMPSON, 27 I&N Dec. 556 (A.G. 2019) ID 3954 (PDF)

The Attorney General referred the decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals to himself for review of issues relating to whether, and under what circumstances, judicial alteration of a criminal conviction or sentence—whether labeled “vacatur,” “modification,” “clarification,” or some other term—should be taken into consideration in determining the immigration consequences of the conviction.


MIRANDA-CORDIERO, 27 I&N Dec. 551 (BIA 2019) ID 3953 (PDF)

Pursuant to section 240(b)(5)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(b)(5)(B) (2012), neither rescission of an in absentia order of removal nor termination of the proceedings is required where an alien who was served with a notice to appear that did not specify the time and place of the initial removal hearing failed to provide an address where a notice of hearing could be sent. Pereira v. Sessions, 138 S. Ct. 2105 (2018), distinguished.


PENA-MEJIA, 27 I&N Dec. 546 (BIA 2019) ID 3952 (PDF)

Neither rescission of an in absentia order of removal nor termination of the proceedings is required where an alien did not appear at a scheduled hearing after being served with a notice to appear that did not specify the time and place of the initial removal hearing, so long as a subsequent notice of hearing specifying that information was properly sent to the alien. Pereira v. Sessions, 138 S. Ct. 2105 (2018), distinguished.


MENDOZA-HERNANDEZ and CAPULA-CORTES, 27 I&N Dec. 520 (BIA 2019) ID 3951 (PDF)

A deficient notice to appear that does not include the time and place of an alien’s initial removal hearing is perfected by the subsequent service of a notice of hearing specifying that missing information, which satisfies the notice requirements of section 239(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229(a) (2012), and triggers the “stop-time” rule of section 240A(d)(1)(A) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(d)(1)(A) (2012). Pereira v. Sessions, 138 S. Ct. 2105 (2018), distinguished; Matter of Bermudez-Cota, 27 I&N Dec. 441 (BIA 2018), followed.


M-S-, 27 I&N Dec. 509 (A.G. 2019) ID 3950 (PDF)

(1) Matter of X-K-, 23 I&N Dec. 731 (BIA 2005), was wrongly decided and is overruled.

(2) An alien who is transferred from expedited removal proceedings to full removal proceedings after establishing a credible fear of persecution or torture is ineligible for release on bond. Such an alien must be detained until his removal proceedings conclude, unless he is granted parole.


A. VASQUEZ, 27 I&N Dec. 503 (BIA 2019) ID 3949 (PDF)

Under the plain language of section 101(a)(43)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(H) (2012), kidnapping in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201(a) (2012) is not an aggravated felony.


A.J. VALDEZ and Z. VALDEZ, 27 I&N Dec. 496 (BIA 2018) ID 3948 (PDF)

(1) An alien makes a willful misrepresentation under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(C)(i) (2012), when he or she knows of or authorizes false statements in an application filed on the alien’s behalf.

(2) An alien’s signature on an immigration application establishes a strong presumption that he or she knows of and has assented to the contents of the application, but the alien can rebut the presumption by establishing fraud, deceit, or other wrongful acts by another person.


CASTILLO-PEREZ, 27 I&N Dec. 495 (A.G. 2018) ID 3947 (PDF)

The Acting Attorney General referred the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals to himself for review of issues relating to:

(1) In connection with an application for cancellation of removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b), what is the appropriate legal standard for determining when an individual lacks “good moral character” under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(f)?

(2) What impact should multiple convictions for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence have in determining when an individual lacks “good moral character” under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(f)?

(3) What impact should multiple such convictions have in determining whether to grant discretionary relief under 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b).

The Acting Attorney General ordered that the case be stayed during the pendency of his review.


L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 494 (A.G. 2018) ID 3946 (PDF)

The Acting Attorney General referred the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals to himself for review of issues relating to whether, and under what circumstances, an alien may establish persecution on account of membership in a “particular social group” under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(42)(A) based on the alien’s membership in a family unit, ordering that the case be stayed during the pendency of his review.


SONG, 27 I&N Dec. 488 (BIA 2018) ID 3945 (PDF)

An applicant for adjustment of status who was admitted on a K-1 visa, fulfilled the terms of the visa by marrying the petitioner, and was later divorced must submit an affidavit of support from the petitioner to establish that he or she is not inadmissible as a public charge under section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(4) (2012).


J-R-G-P-, 27 I&N Dec. 482 (BIA 2018) ID 3944 (PDF)

 Where the evidence regarding an application for protection under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted and opened for signature Dec. 10, 1984, G.A. Res. 39/46, 39 U.N. GAOR Supp. No. 51, at 197, U.N. Doc. A/RES/39/708 (1984) (entered into force June 26, 1987; for the United States Apr. 18, 1988), plausibly establishes that abusive or squalid conditions in pretrial detention facilities, prisons, or mental health institutions in the country of removal are the result of neglect, a lack of resources, or insufficient training and education, rather than a specific intent to cause severe pain and suffering, an Immigration Judge’s finding that the applicant did not establish a sufficient likelihood that he or she will experience "torture" in these settings is not clearly erroneous.


NEGUSIE, 27 I&N Dec. 481 (A.G. 2018)

ID 3943 (PDF)

The Attorney General referred the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals to himself for review of issues relating to whether coercion and duress are relevant to the application of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s persecutor bar. See 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101(a)(42), 1158(b)(2)(A)(i), 1231(b)(3)(B)(i)(2012).   


M-A-C-O-, 27 I&N Dec. 477 (BIA 2018)

ID 3942 (PDF)

An Immigration Judge has initial jurisdiction over an asylum application filed by a respondent who was previously determined to be an unaccompanied alien child but who turned 18 before filing the application.


M-S-, 27 I&N Dec. 476  (A.G. 2018)

ID 3941 (PDF)

The Attorney General referred the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals to himself for review of issues relating to the authority to hold bond hearings for certain aliens screened for expedited removal proceedings, ordering that the case be stayed during the pendency of his review.


M-G-G-, 27 I&N Dec. 475  (A.G. 2018) ID 3940 (PDF)

The Attorney General referred the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals to himself for review. As the respondent had been removed and was no longer in the United States, the Attorney General decided not to review the Board’s determination that the respondent was eligible to be released on bond. The Attorney General remanded the case to the Board for any administrative action the Board deems necessary.


VELASQUEZ-RIOS, 27 I&N Dec. 470 (BIA 2018)

 ID 3939 (PDF)

The amendment to section 18.5 of the California Penal Code, which retroactively lowered the maximum possible sentence that could have been imposed for an alien’s State offense from 365 days to 364 days, does not affect the applicability of section 237(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) (2012), to a past conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude "for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed."


M-G-G-, 27 I&N Dec. 469 (A.G. 2018) ID 3938 (PDF)

The Attorney General referred the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals to himself for review of issues relating to the authority to hold bond hearings for certain aliens screened for expedited removal proceedings, ordering that the case be stayed during the pendency of his review.


S-O-G- & F-D-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 462 (A.G. 2018) ID 3937 (PDF)

(1) Consistent with Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018), immigration judges have no inherent authority to terminate or dismiss removal proceedings.

(2) Immigration judges may dismiss or terminate removal proceedings only under the circumstances expressly identified in the regulations, see 8 C.F.R. § 1239.2(c), (f), or where the Department of Homeland Security fails to sustain the charges of removability against a respondent, see 8 C.F.R. § 1240.12(c).

(3) An immigration judge’s general authority to "take any other action consistent with applicable law and regulations as may be appropriate," 8 C.F.R. § 1240.1(a)(1)(iv), does not provide any additional authority to terminate or dismiss removal proceedings beyond those authorities expressly set out in the relevant regulations.

(4) To avoid confusion, immigration judges and the Board should recognize and maintain the distinction between a dismissal under 8 C.F.R. § 1239.2(c) and a termination under 8 C.F.R. § 1239.2(f).


VALENZUELA GALLARDO, 27 I&N Dec. 449 (BIA 2018) ID 3936 (PDF)

(1) An "offense relating to obstruction of justice" under section 101(a)(43)(S) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(S) (2012), encompasses offenses covered by chapter 73 of the Federal criminal code, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1501–1521 (2012), or any other Federal or State offense that involves (1) an affirmative and intentional attempt (2) that is motivated by a specific intent (3) to interfere either in an investigation or proceeding that is ongoing, pending, or reasonably foreseeable by the defendant, or in another’s punishment resulting from a completed proceeding. Matter of Valenzuela Gallardo, 25 I&N Dec. 838 (BIA 2012), clarified.

(2) A conviction for accessory to a felony under section 32 of the California Penal Code that results in a term of imprisonment of at least 1 year is a conviction for an aggravated felony offense relating to obstruction of justice under section 101(a)(43)(S) of the Act.


BERMUDEZ-COTA, 27 I&N Dec. 441 (BIA 2018) ID 3935 (PDF)

A notice to appear that does not specify the time and place of an alien’s initial removal hearing vests an Immigration Judge with jurisdiction over the removal proceedings and meets the requirements of section 239(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229(a) (2012), so long as a notice of hearing specifying this information is later sent to the alien. Pereira v. Sessions, 138 S. Ct. 2105 (2018), distinguished.


J. M. ACOSTA, 27 I&N Dec. 420 (BIA 2018) ID 3934 (PDF)

(1) A conviction does not attain a sufficient degree of finality for immigration purposes until the right to direct appellate review on the merits of the conviction has been exhausted or waived.

(2) Once the Department of Homeland Security has established that a respondent has a criminal conviction at the trial level and that the time for filing a direct appeal has passed, a presumption arises that the conviction is final for immigration purposes, which the respondent can rebut with evidence that an appeal has been filed within the prescribed deadline, including any extensions or permissive filings granted by the appellate court, and that the appeal relates to the issue of guilt or innocence or concerns a substantive defect in the criminal proceedings.

(3) Appeals, including direct appeals, and collateral attacks that do not relate to the underlying merits of a conviction will not be given effect to eliminate the finality of the conviction.


L-A-B-R- et al., 27 I&N Dec. 405 (A.G. 2018) ID 3933 (PDF)

(1) An immigration judge may grant a motion for a continuance of removal proceedings only "for good cause shown." 8 C.F.R. § 1003.29.

(2) The good-cause standard is a substantive requirement that limits the discretion of immigration judges and prohibits them from granting continuances for any reason or no reason at all.

(3) The good-cause standard requires consideration and balancing of multiple relevant factors when a respondent alien requests a continuance to pursue collateral relief from another authority—for example, a visa from the Department of Homeland Security. See Matter of Hashmi, 24 I&N Dec. 785, 790 (BIA 2009).

(4) When a respondent requests a continuance to pursue collateral relief, the immigration judge must consider primarily the likelihood that the collateral relief will be granted and will materially affect the outcome of the removal proceedings.

(5) The immigration judge should also consider relevant secondary factors, which may include the respondent’s diligence in seeking collateral relief, DHS’s position on the motion for continuance, concerns of administrative efficiency, the length of the continuance requested, the number of hearings held and continuances granted previously, and the timing of the continuance motion.


MEDINA-JIMENEZ 27 I&N Dec. 399 (BIA 2018)

ID 3932 (PDF)

The categorical approach does not govern whether violating a protection order under 237(a)(2)(E)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(E)(ii) (2012), renders an alien ineligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1)(C) (2012); instead, Immigration Judges need only decide whether the alien has been convicted within the meaning of the Act and whether that conviction is for violating a protection order under section 237(a)(2)(E)(ii). Matter of Obshatko, 27 I&N Dec. 173 (BIA 2017), followed.


ORTEGA-LOPEZ, 27 I&N Dec. 382 (BIA 2018)

ID 3931 (PDF)

(1) The offense of sponsoring or exhibiting an animal in an animal fighting venture in violation of 7 U.S.C. § 2156(a)(1) (2006) is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude. Matter of Ortega-Lopez, 26 I&N Dec. 99 (BIA 2013), reaffirmed.

(2) An alien is ineligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1)(C) (2012), for having "been convicted of an offense under" section 237(a)(2)(A)(i) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(i) (2012), irrespective of both the general "admission" requirement in section 237(a) and the temporal (within 5 years of admission) requirement in section 237(a)(2)(A)(i)(I). Matter of Cortez, 25 I&N Dec. 301 (BIA 2010), reaffirmed.


NEGUSIE 27 I&N Dec. 347 (BIA 2018) ID 3930 (PDF)

(1) An applicant who is subject to being barred from establishing eligibility for asylum or withholding of removal based on the persecution of others may claim a duress defense, which is limited in nature.

(2) To meet the minimum threshold requirements of the duress defense to the persecutor bar, an applicant must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that (1) he acted under an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to himself or others; (2) he reasonably believed that the threatened harm would be carried out unless he acted or refrained from acting; (3) he had no reasonable opportunity to escape or otherwise frustrate the threat; (4) he did not place himself in a situation in which he knew or reasonably should have known that he would likely be forced to act or refrain from acting; and (5) he knew or reasonably should have known that the harm he inflicted was not greater than the threatened harm to himself or others.


A-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 316 (A.G. 2018) ID 3929 (PDF)

(1)Matter of A-R-C-G-, 26 I&N Dec. 338 (BIA 2014) is overruled. That decision was wrongly decided and should not have been issued as a precedential decision.

(2)An applicant seeking to establish persecution on account of membership in a "particular social group" must demonstrate: (1) membership in a group, which is composed of members who share a common immutable characteristic, is defined with particularity, and is socially distinct within the society in question; and (2) that membership in the group is a central reason for her persecution. When the alleged persecutor is someone unaffiliated with the government, the applicant must also show that her home government is unwilling or unable to protect her.

(3)An asylum applicant has the burden of showing her eligibility for asylum. The applicant must present facts that establish each element of the standard, and the asylum officer, immigration judge, or the Board has the duty to determine whether those facts satisfy all of those elements.

(4)If an asylum application is fatally flawed in one respect, an immigration judge or the Board need not examine the remaining elements of the asylum claim.

(5)The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, cannot itself establish an asylum claim.

(6)To be cognizable, a particular social group must exist independently of the harm asserted in an application for asylum.

(7)An applicant seeking to establish persecution based on violent conduct of a private actor must show more than the government’s difficulty controlling private behavior. The applicant must show that the government condoned the private actions or demonstrated an inability to protect the victims.

(8)An applicant seeking asylum based on membership in a particular social group must clearly indicate on the record the exact delineation of any proposed particular social group.

(9)The Board, immigration judges, and all asylum officers must consider, consistent with the regulations, whether internal relocation in the alien’s home country presents a reasonable alternative before granting asylum.


A-C-M-27 I&N Dec. 303 (BIA 2018) ID 3928 (PDF)

(1) An alien provides “material support” to a terrorist organization if the act has a logical and reasonably foreseeable tendency to promote, sustain, or maintain the organization, even if only to a de minimis degree.

(2) The respondent afforded material support to the guerillas in El Salvador in 1990 because the forced labor she provided in the form of cooking, cleaning, and washing their clothes aided them in continuing their mission of armed and violent opposition to the Salvadoran Government.


DING, 27 I&N Dec. 295 (BIA 2018) ID 3927 (PDF)

 (1) The term "prostitution" in section 101(a)(43)(K)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(K)(i) (2012), which provides that an offense relating to the owning, controlling, managing, or supervising of a prostitution business is an aggravated felony, is not limited to offenses involving sexual intercourse but is defined as engaging in, or agreeing or offering to engage in, sexual conduct for anything of value.

(2) The offense of keeping a place of prostitution in violation of section 944.34(1) of the Wisconsin Statutes is categorically an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(K)(i) of the Act.


CASTRO-TUM, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018) ID 3926 (PDF)

(1) Immigration judges and the Board do not have the general authority to suspend indefinitely immigration proceedings by administrative closure. To the extent the Board’s decisions in Matter of Avetisyan, 25 I&N Dec. 688 (BIA 2012), and Matter of W-Y-U-, 27 I&N Dec. 17 (BIA 2017), are inconsistent with this conclusion, those decisions are overruled.

(2) Immigration judges and the Board may only administratively close a case where a previous regulation or a previous judicially approved settlement expressly authorizes such an action.

(3) Neither 8 C.F.R. § 1003.10(b) nor 8 C.F.R. § 1003.1(d)(1)(ii) confers the authority to grant administrative closure. Grants of general authority to take measures “appropriate and necessary for the disposition of . . . cases” would not ordinarily include the authority to suspend cases indefinitely. Additionally, 8 C.F.R. § 1240.1(a)(1), which authorizes immigration judges to take actions that “may be appropriate” in removal proceedings, and 8 C.F.R. § 1240.1(c), which empowers immigration judges to “otherwise regulate the course of the hearing,” do not entail an authority to grant indefinite suspensions. Finally, regulations empowering the Chief Immigration Judge and the Chairman of the Board to manage dockets—8 C.F.R. § 1003.9(b)(1) and 8 C.F.R. § 1003.1(a)(2)(i)(A)—grant no express authority to administratively close cases, and cannot reasonably be interpreted to implicitly delegate such authority.

(4) Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Department of Homeland Security has the exclusive authority to decide whether and when to initiate proceedings. Once the Department of Homeland Security initiates proceedings, immigration judges and the Board must proceed “expeditious[ly]” to resolve the case. 8 C.F.R. § 1003.12.

(5) For cases that truly warrant a brief pause, the regulations expressly provide for continuances. 8 C.F.R. § 1003.29.

(6) The Immigration and Nationality Act unambiguously states that, with respect to in absentia proceedings, so long as the Department of Homeland Security adequately alleges that it provided legally sufficient written notice to an alien, the alien “shall be ordered removed in absentia if [the Department of Homeland Security] establishes by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence that the written notice was so provided and that the alien is removable.” INA § 240(b)(5)(A), 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(b)(5)(A). The Immigration and Nationality Act thus imposes an obligation to proceed expeditiously to determine whether the requisite evidence supports the removal charge.

(7) Where a case has been administratively closed without the requisite authority, the immigration judge or the Board, as appropriate, shall recalendar the case on the motion of either party.


L-M-P-, 27 I&N Dec. 265 (BIA 2018) ID 3925 (PDF)

(1) The Department of Homeland Security has the authority to file a motion to reconsider in Immigration Court.

(2) An applicant in withholding of removal only proceedings who is subject to a reinstated order of removal pursuant to section 241(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1231(a)(5) (2012), is ineligible for asylum.


SANCHEZ-LOPEZ 27 I&N Dec. 256 (BIA 2018) ID 3924 (PDF)

The offense of stalking in violation of section 646.9 of the California Penal Code is not “a crime of stalking” under section 237(a)(2)(E)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(E)(i) (2012). Matter of Sanchez-Lopez, 26 I&N Dec. 71 (BIA 2012), overruled.


MARQUEZ CONDE 27 I&N Dec. 251 (BIA 2018) ID 3923 (PDF)

The Board of Immigration Appeals’ holding in Matter of Pickering, 23 I&N Dec. 621 (BIA 2003), rev’d on other grounds, Pickering v. Gonzales, 465 F.3d 263 (6th Cir. 2006), regarding the validity of vacated convictions for immigration purposes, is reaffirmed, and the decision is modified to give it nationwide application. Renteria-Gonzalez v. INS, 322 F.3d 804 (5th Cir. 2002), not followed.


A-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 247 (A.G. 2018) ID 3922 (PDF)

The Attorney General denied the request of the Department of Homeland Security that the Attorney General suspend the briefing schedules and clarify the question presented, and he granted, in part, both parties’ request for an extension of the deadline for submitting briefs in this case.


L-A-B-R- et al., 27 I&N Dec. 245 (A.G. 2018) ID 3921 (PDF)

 The Attorney General referred the decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals to himself for review of issues relating to when there is "good cause" to grant a continuance for a collateral matter to be adjudicated, ordering that the cases be stayed during the pendency of his review.


CERVANTES NUNEZ,  27 I&N Dec. 238 (BIA 2018)

ID 3920 (PDF)

The crime of attempted voluntary manslaughter in violation of sections 192(a) and 664 of the California Penal Code, which requires that a defendant act with the specific intent to cause the death of another person, is categorically an aggravated felony crime of violence under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (2012), notwithstanding that the completed offense of voluntary manslaughter itself is not such an aggravated felony.


ROSA, 27 I&N Dec. 228 (BIA 2018)

ID 3919 (PDF)

(1) In deciding whether a State offense is punishable as a felony under the Federal Controlled Substances Act and is therefore an aggravated felony drug trafficking crime under section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(B) (2012), adjudicators need not look solely to the provision of the Controlled Substances Act that is most similar to the State statute of conviction.

(2) The respondent’s conviction under section 2C:35-7 of the New Jersey Statutes for possession with intent to distribute cocaine within 1,000 feet of school property is for an aggravated felony drug trafficking crime because his State offense satisfies all of the elements of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (2012) and would be punishable as a felony under that provision.


A-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 227 (A.G. 2018)

ID 3918 (PDF)

The Attorney General referred the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals to himself for review of issues relating to whether being a victim of private criminal activity constitutes a cognizable "particular social group" for purposes of an application for asylum and withholding of removal, ordering that the case be stayed during the pendency of his review.


E-F-H-L-, 27 I&N Dec. 226 (A.G. 2018) ID 3917 (PDF)

 The Attorney General referred the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals in Matter of E-F-H-L-, 26 I&N Dec. 319 (BIA 2014), to himself for review and vacated that decision.


MENDEZ, 27 I&N Dec. 219 (BIA 2018)

ID 3916 (PDF)

Misprision of felony in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 4 (2006) is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude. Matter of Robles, 24 I&N Dec. 22 (BIA 2006), reaffirmed. Robles-Urrea v. Holder, 678 F.3d 702 (9th Cir. 2012), followed in jurisdiction only.


 J-C-H-F-,  27 I&N Dec. 211 (BIA 2018)

ID 3915 (PDF)

When deciding whether to consider a border or airport interview in making a credibility determination, an Immigration Judge should assess the accuracy and reliability of the interview based on the totality of the circumstances, rather than relying on any one factor among a list or mandated set of inquiries.


SINIAUSKAS , 27 I&N Dec. 207 (BIA 2018)

ID 3914 (PDF)

(1) In deciding whether to set a bond, an Immigration Judge should consider the nature and circumstances of the alien’s criminal activity, including any arrests and convictions, to determine if the alien is a danger to the community, but family and community ties generally do not mitigate an alien’s dangerousness.

(2) Driving under the influence is a significant adverse consideration in determining whether an alien is a danger to the community in bond proceedings.


CASTILLO ANGULO, 27 I&N Dec. 194 (BIA 2018)

ID 3913 (PDF)

 (1) In removal proceedings arising within the jurisdiction of the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Ninth Circuits, an alien who was "waved through" a port of entry has established an admission "in any status" within the meaning of section 240A(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a)(2) (2012). Tula-Rubio v. Lynch, 787 F.3d 288 (5th Cir. 2015), and Saldivar v. Sessions, 877 F.3d 812 (9th Cir. 2017), followed in jurisdiction only.

(2) In removal proceedings arising outside the Fifth and Ninth Circuits, to establish continuous residence in the United States for 7 years after having been "admitted in any status" under section 240A(a)(2), an alien must prove that he or she possessed some form of lawful immigration status at the time of admission.


W-Y-C-& H-O-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 189 (BIA 2018)

ID 3912 (PDF)

(1) An applicant seeking asylum or withholding of removal based on membership in a particular social group must clearly indicate on the record before the Immigration Judge the exact delineation of any proposed particular social group.

(2) The Board of Immigration Appeals generally will not address a newly articulated particular social group that was not advanced before the Immigration Judge.


CASTRO-TUM, 27 I&N Dec. 187 (A.G. 2018)

ID 3911 (PDF)

 The Attorney General referred the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals to himself for review of issues relating to the authority to administratively close immigration proceedings, ordering that the case be stayed during the pendency of his review.


JASSO ARANGURE, 27 I&N Dec. 178 (BIA 2017)

ID 3910 (PDF)

 (1) The Department of Homeland Security is not precluded by res judicata from initiating a separate proceeding to remove an alien as one convicted of an aggravated felony burglary offense under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G) (2012), based on the same conviction that supported a crime of violence aggravated felony charge under section 101(a)(43)(F) in the prior proceeding. Bravo-Pedroza v. Gonzales, 475 F.3d 1358 (9th Cir. 2007), not followed.

(2) Home invasion in the first degree in violation of Michigan Compiled Laws section 750.110a(2) is a categorical burglary offense under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Act.


OBSHATKO, 27 I&N Dec. 173 (BIA 2017)

ID 3909 (PDF)

Whether a violation of a protection order renders an alien removable under section 237(a)(2)(E)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(E)(ii)(2012), is not governed by the categorical approach, even if a conviction underlies the charge; instead, an Immigration Judge should consider the probative and reliable evidence regarding what a State court has determined about the alien’s violation. Matter of Strydom 25 I&N Dec. 507 (BIA 2011), clarified.


J-A-B- & I-J-V-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 168 (BIA 2017) ID 3908 (PDF)

An Immigration Judge does not have authority to terminate removal proceedings to give an arriving alien an opportunity to present an asylum claim to the Department of Homeland Security in the first instance.


KEELEY, 27 I&N Dec. 146 (BIA 2017) ID 3907 (PDF)

(1) The term “rape” in section 101(a)(43)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(A) (2012), encompasses an act of vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse, or digital or mechanical penetration, no matter how slight. Perez-Gonzalez v. Holder, 667 F.3d 622 (5th Cir. 2012), not followed.

(2) The term “rape” also requires that the underlying sexual act be committed without consent, which may be shown by a statutory requirement that the victim’s ability to appraise the nature of the conduct was substantially impaired and the offender had a culpable mental state as to such impairment.


TAVDIDISHVILI, 27 I&N Dec. 142 (BIA 2017)

ID 3906 (PDF)

Criminally negligent homicide in violation of section 125.10 of the New York Penal Law is categorically not a crime involving moral turpitude, because it does not require that a perpetrator have a sufficiently culpable mental state.


VELLA, 27 I&N Dec. 138 (BIA 2017)

ID 3905 (PDF)

An alien “has previously been admitted to the United States as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence” within the meaning of section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(h) (2012), if he or she was inspected, admitted, and physically entered the country as a lawful permanent resident at any time in the past, even if such admission was not the alien’s most recent acquisition of lawful permanent resident status.


PANGAN-SIS, 27 I&N Dec. 130 (BIA 2017)

ID 3904 (PDF)

An alien seeking to qualify for the exception to inadmissibility in section 212(a)(6)(A)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(A)(ii) (2012), must satisfy all three subclauses of that section, including the requirement that the alien be "a VAWA self-petitioner."


REHMAN, 27 I&N Dec. 124 (BIA 2017)

ID 3903 (PDF)

Where a petitioner seeking to prove a familial relationship submits a birth certificate that was not registered contemporaneously with the birth, an adjudicator must consider the birth certificate, as well as all the other evidence of record and the circumstances of the case, to determine whether the petitioner has submitted sufficient reliable evidence to demonstrate the claimed relationship by a preponderance of the evidence.


D-R-, 27 I&N Dec. 105 (BIA 2017)

ID 3902 (PDF)

(1) A misrepresentation is material under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(C)(i) (2012), when it tends to shut off a line of inquiry that is relevant to the alien’s admissibility and that would predictably have disclosed other facts relevant to his eligibility for a visa, other documentation, or admission to the United States. Forbes v. INS, 48 F.3d 439 (9th Cir. 1995), not followed.

(2) In determining whether an alien assisted or otherwise participated in extrajudicial killing, an adjudicator should consider (1) the nexus between the alien’s role, acts, or inaction and the extrajudicial killing and (2) his scienter, meaning his prior or contemporaneous knowledge of the killing. Miranda Alvarado v. Gonzales, 449 F.3d 915 (9th Cir. 2006), not followed.


DELGADO, 27 I&N Dec. 100 (BIA 2017)

ID 3901 (PDF)

Robbery under section 211 of the California Penal Code, which includes the element of asportation of property, is categorically an aggravated felony theft offense under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G) (2012), regardless of whether a violator merely aided or abetted in the asportation of property stolen by a principal.


MOHAMED, 27 I&N Dec. 92 (BIA 2017)

ID 3900 (PDF)

 Entry into a pretrial intervention agreement under Texas law qualifies as a "conviction" for immigration purposes under section 101(a)(48)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(48)(A) (2012), where (1) a respondent admits sufficient facts to warrant a finding of guilt at the time of his entry into the agreement, and (2) a judge authorizes an agreement ordering the respondent to participate in a pretrial intervention program, under which he is required to complete community supervision and community service, pay fees and restitution, and comply with a no-contact order.


J-G-D-F-, 27 I&N Dec. 82 (BIA 2017)

ID 3899 (PDF)

 Burglary of a dwelling in violation of section 164.225 of the Oregon Revised Statutes is a crime involving moral turpitude, even though the statute does not require that a person be present at the time of the offense, provided that the dwelling is at least intermittently occupied.


N-A-I-, 27 I&N Dec.72 (BIA 2017)

ID 3898 (PDF)

1) An alien who adjusts status under section 209(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1159(b) (2012), changes his or her status from that of an alien granted asylum to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, thereby terminating the alien’s asylee status. Matter of C-J-H-, 26 I&N Dec. 284 (BIA 2014), clarified.

(2)The restrictions on removal in section 208(c)(1)(A) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1158(c)(1)(A) (2012), do not apply to an alien granted asylum whose status is adjusted to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence pursuant to section 209(b) of the Act.


IZAGUIRRE, 27 I&N Dec. 67 (BIA 2017) ID 3897 (PDF)

An offense may be a "specified offense against a minor" within the meaning of section 111(7) of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, Pub. L. No. 109-248, 120 Stat. 587, 592, even if it involved an undercover police officer posing as a minor, rather than an actual minor.


DEANG, 27 I&N Dec. 57 (BIA 2017)

ID 3896 (PDF)

An essential element of an aggravated felony receipt of stolen property offense under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G) (2012), is that an offender must receive property with the “knowledge or belief” that it has been stolen, and this element excludes a mens rea equivalent to a “reason to believe.”

 

A conviction for receipt of a stolen motor vehicle under section 32-4-5 of the South Dakota Codified Laws categorically does not define an aggravated felony receipt of stolen property offense under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Act because it is indivisible with respect to the necessary mens rea and only requires, at a minimum, that an offender have a “reason to believe” that the vehicle received was stolen.


FALODUN, 27 I&N Dec. 52 (BIA 2017)

ID 3895 (PDF)

Unlike a Certificate of Naturalization, a certificate of citizenship does not confer United States citizenship but merely provides evidence that the applicant previously obtained citizenship status.

The institution of judicial proceedings to revoke naturalization are not required to cancel a certificate of citizenship, which the Department of Homeland Security can cancel administratively upon a determination that an applicant is not entitled to the claimed citizenship status.


ALDAY-DOMINGUEZ, 27 I&N Dec. 48 (BIA 2017)

ID 3894 (PDF)

 The aggravated felony receipt of stolen property provision in section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G) (2012), does not require that unlawfully received property be obtained by means of common law theft or larceny.


L-E-A-,  27 I&N Dec. 40 (BIA 2017)

ID 3893 (PDF)

 (1) Whether a particular social group based on family membership is cognizable depends on the nature and degree of the relationships involved and how those relationships are regarded by the society in question.

(2) To establish eligibility for asylum on the basis of membership in a particular social group composed of family members, an applicant must not only demonstrate that he or she is a member of the family but also that the family relationship is at least one central reason for the claimed harm.


M-B-C-, 27 I&N Dec. 31 (BIA 2017)

ID 3892 (PDF)

Where the record contains some evidence from which a reasonable factfinder could conclude that one or more grounds for mandatory denial of an application for relief may apply, the alien bears the burden under 8 C.F.R. § 1240.8(d) (2016) to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that such grounds do not apply.


J.M. ALVARADO, 27 I&N Dec. 27 (BIA 2017)

ID 3891 (PDF)

The persecutor bar in section 241(b)(3)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3)(B)(i) (2012), applies to an alien who assists or otherwise participates in the persecution of an individual because of that person’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, without regard to the alien’s personal motivation for assisting or participating in the persecution.


CHAIREZ, 27 I&N Dec. 21 (BIA 2017)

 ID 3890 (PDF)

In determining whether a statute is divisible under Mathis v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2243 (2016), Immigration Judges may consider or "peek" at an alien’s conviction record only to discern whether statutory alternatives define "elements" or "means," provided State law does not otherwise resolve the question.


W-Y-U-, 27 I&N Dec. 17 (BIA 2017)

ID 3889 (PDF)

 (1) The primary consideration for an Immigration Judge in evaluating whether to administratively close or recalendar proceedings is whether the party opposing administrative closure has provided a persuasive reason for the case to proceed and be resolved on the merits. Matter of Avetisyan, 25 I&N Dec. 688 (BIA 2012), clarified.

(2) In considering administrative closure, an Immigration Judge cannot review whether an alien falls within the enforcement priorities of the Department of Homeland Security, which has exclusive jurisdiction over matters of prosecutorial discretion.


WU, 27 I&N Dec. 8 (BIA 2017)  ID 3888 (PDF)

 Assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to produce great bodily injury under California law is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude. Ceron v. Holder, 747 F.3d 773 (9th Cir. 2014) (en banc), distinguished.


JIMENEZ-CEDILLO, 27 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 2017) ID 3887 (PDF)

(1) A sexual offense in violation of a statute enacted to protect children is a crime involving moral turpitude where the victim is particularly young—that is, under 14 years of age—or is under 16 and the age differential between the perpetrator and victim is significant, or both, even though the statute requires no culpable mental state as to the age of the child. 26 I&N Dec. 826 (BIA 2016), clarified.

(2) Sexual solicitation of a minor under section 3-324(b) of the Maryland Criminal Law with the intent to engage in an unlawful sexual offense in violation of section 3-307 is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude.


Updated May 22, 2020

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