Justia U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Immigration Law
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The BIA must consider the principles of equitable tolling when an untimely appeal is filed and the petitioner raises the issue. The Second Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision refusing to accept petitioner's untimely appeal of an IJ's order of removal from Ghana. The court held that the BIA erred in refusing to consider whether the argument that the appeal deadline, which is nonjurisdictional, is subject to an equitable tolling exception. The court found that the appeal deadline is a claim‐processing rule amenable to equitable tolling and thus remanded to the BIA to develop standards for equitable tolling, determining whether petitioner qualified for such relief. View "Attipoe v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law
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Notwithstanding a district court's release order pursuant to the Bail Reform Act (BRA), the government has the authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to detain a criminal defendant who is an alien in the course of an administrative removal proceeding. The Second Circuit vacated the district court's dismissal of an indictment against defendant with prejudice. The court held that the district court's bail release order under the BRA did not preclude the government from detaining defendant under the INA as an inadmissible alien subject to removal. The court found defendant's arguments to the contrary unavailing. View "United States v. Lett" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law
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The Second Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's determination that petitioner was removable and ineligible for cancellation of removal. The court held that petitioner's conviction under New York Penal Law 110.00, 130.45 for attempted oral or anal sexual conduct with a person under the age of fifteen constitutes sexual abuse of a minor, and was therefore an aggravated felony under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The court explained that petitioner's conviction under the New York statute did not encompass more conduct than the generic definition and could not realistically result in an individual's conviction for conduct made with a less than knowing mens rea. View "Acevedo v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit denied the petition for sua sponte reopening of petitioner's removal proceedings pending the outcome of his U-visa application, because petitioner's U-visa application has been denied. However, the court granted the petition for review of the BIA's denial of petitioner's motion to suppress evidence of petitioner's alleged alienage, finding that he made a prima facie showing of an egregious violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. In this case, petitioner established a prima facie case that his arrest was racially motivated and therefore constituted an egregious violation of his constitutional rights. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Rodriguez v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law
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The Second Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's finding that petitioner was removable for an aggravated felony. The court held that petitioner's conviction for first‐degree robbery in violation of Connecticut General Statutes 53a‐134(a)(4) is a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. 16(a) and therefore an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii), 1101(43)(F). View "Wood v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's denial of petitioner's application for asylum and for withholding and deferral of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The court held that petitioner's second‐degree assault conviction under NYPL 120.05(2) qualifies as an aggravated felony crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. 16(a). Therefore, petitioner was removable and ineligible for asylum. The court rejected petitioner's remaining claims, which challenged the BIA's determination that his assault was a particularly serious crime and his CAT deferral, as lacking in merit. View "Singh v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's denial of petitioner's application for asylum and related relief based on the IJ's finding that petitioner was not credible. The court held that the asserted inconsistencies between the details of his encounter with police following his attack and the severity of his father's injuries after an assault did not amount to inconsistent statements at all. Furthermore, petitioner's inconsistent statements regarding the dates when he received medical treatment after he was assaulted -- on its own -- did not justify an adverse credibility finding. In any event, remand to the agency would not be futile. Accordingly, the court vacated the order of removal and remanded. View "Gurung v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law
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The plain language of the Immigration and Nationality Act unambiguously permits an applicant to raise multiple claims in her asylum application, even if the changed circumstance relates only to one proffered basis for asylum. The Second Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's denial of petitioner's application for asylum. The court held that petitioner demonstrated the existence of changed circumstances permitting her late filing, and the IJ and BIA were obligated to consider her entire application. Accordingly, the court remanded to the BIA for the limited purpose of granting the application for asylum. View "Yan Yang v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law
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The Second Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's finding that petitioner was removable and denial of his applications for cancellation of removal and adjustment of status. The court held that, because it has previously upheld the BIA's determination that child endangerment offenses fall within the Immigration and Nationality Act's (INA) crime of child abuse provision, the court agreed with the district court that New York law -- which criminalizes conduct that poses a likelihood of physical, mental, or moral harm to a child -- falls within the BIA's definition. Therefore, petitioner's New York convictions for endangering the welfare of a child were crimes of child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment under the INA. View "Matthews v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by an alien who is illegally unlawfully in the United States. The court held that the "in the United States" element of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(A) requires only that a noncitizen be physically present within the United States. The court rejected defendant's argument that a defendant must have "entered" the country as a matter of immigration law. The court also held that, in light of defendant's immigration status at the time of the conduct underlying his arrest, he was unlawfully present in the United States. The court rejected defendant's argument that he was not present "illegally or unlawfully" because he was effectively paroled into the country when he was released from detention in 2007. View "United States v. Balde" on Justia Law