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

Articles Posted in Immigration 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

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Plaintiffs, formerly civil immigration detainees treated for serious mental illnesses, filed a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action against the county and others, alleging that the failure to engage in discharge planning or to provide them with discharge plans upon release violated their substantive due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Second Circuit vacated the district court's grant of defendants' motion to dismiss. The court held that plaintiffs have adequately stated a Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process claim, because they plausibly alleged that they had serious medical needs requiring discharge planning and that defendants' failure to provide discharge planning to plaintiffs constituted deliberate indifference. Accordingly, the court remanded for further fact finding and further proceedings. View "Charles v. Orange County" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's order of removal based on petitioner's conviction for an aggravated felony. The court held that petitioner's conviction for conspiracy in the second degree to commit a felony -- murder in the second degree in this case -- under New York law was an aggravated felony. The court applied the categorical approach and held that second degree murder is clearly an aggravated felony within the federal definition. View "Santana-Felix v. Barr" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of Ghana, sought review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's order of removal based on petitioner's prior Connecticut conviction for third‐degree burglary, which the BIA determined was a crime of violence as defined in 18 U.S.C. 16(b). The Supreme Court subsequently decided Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204 (2018), which found that section 16(b) was unconstitutionally vague and void. The Second Circuit held that the Supreme Court's holding in Dimaya made it clear that petitioner was no longer subject to removal proceedings and granted the petition for review, vacating the order of removal and terminating removal proceedings. View "Genego v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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Plaintiff, an alien subject to a final order of removal, together with several immigration‐policy advocacy organizations, appealed the district court's interlocutory order denying their motion for a preliminary injunction and dismissing some of their claims. Plaintiff sought to enjoin his imminent deportation on the basis of evidence that Government officials targeted him for deportation because of his public speech that was critical of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. immigration policy. The Second Circuit vacated the district court's order and held that plaintiff stated a cognizable constitutional claim where the court's prior precedent did not foreclose the claim and where plaintiff's claim involved outrageous conduct. In this case, plaintiff's speech implicated the highest position in the hierarchy of First Amendment protection; the Government's alleged retaliation was egregious; plaintiff has a substantial interest in avoiding selective deportation; and the Government's interest in having unchallenged discretion to deport plaintiff was less substantial. The court also held that, although Congress intended to strip all courts of jurisdiction over plaintiff's claim, the Suspension Clause of the Constitution requires the availability of a habeas corpus proceeding in light of 8 U.S.C. 1252(g). Therefore the district court had jurisdiction over plaintiff's claim and the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Ragbir v. Homan" on Justia 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 denying his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The court held that no remand was necessary to determine that petitioner's conviction for Connecticut first‐degree assault constitutes an "aggravated felony," as it fits within the definition of “crime of violence" in 18 U.S.C. 16(a). The court held that there were no constitutional errors or errors of law and rejected petitioner's contention that Pereira v. Sessions, 138 S. Ct. 2105 (2018), is properly read to mean that the Immigration Court that ordered his removal lacked jurisdiction because the Notice to Appear that was served on him failed to specify the time or date of hearing, even though a Notice of Hearing containing the requisite information subsequently issued. View "Gomez 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 order of removal. The court held that petitioner's conviction for conspiracy to commit money laundering under 18 U.S.C. 1956(h) is an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43)(D). The court also held that the IJ's reliance on the forfeiture order was appropriate, and the IJ did not commit clear error in finding that the government established that petitioner laundered more than $10,000 by clear and convincing evidence. View "Barikyan v. Barr" on Justia Law