The en banc Ninth Circuit reversed the BIA’s denial of asylum to a homosexual citizen of Mexico, finding that the petitioner had shown that Mexican officials were unable or unwilling to protect him from harm by private individuals due to his sexual orientation, and thus that he had established past persecution. The court also concluded that the petitioner was entitled to a presumption of future persecution, and remanded for the BIA to consider whether that presumption was rebutted, and also to consider the petitioner’s claims for withholding of removal and CAT protection, taking into account new evidence of the petitioner’s HIV diagnosis.
Court Says Noncitizen Issued an Expedited Removal Order at Border Checkpoint Has “Re-Entered” Under INA §241(a)(5)
In a question of first impression for the federal courts, the Ninth Circuit denied the petition for review, holding that a noncitizen who is issued an expedited removal order at a U.S. border-crossing checkpoint has entered the United States for purposes of reinstatement of removal under INA §241(a)(5). The court noted that its decision is limited to the reinstatement provision’s definition of “re-entry,” and that it does not disturb the longstanding common-law definition of “entry.”
The Ninth Circuit granted the petition for review of the BIA’s precedent decision in Matter of Almanza-Arenas, which held that a conviction for vehicle theft under California Vehicle Code §10851(a) constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). The court remanded to the BIA, holding that, because the least of the acts criminalized under §10851(a) is a temporary taking, the statute is overbroad and thus not categorically a CIMT. The court also found that §10851(a) is an indivisible statute under Descamps v. United States.
After 20 years of IIRAIRA – 9th Circuit rules that crime of violence definition is unconstitutionally vague
The Ninth Circuit granted the petition for review and remanded, holding that the language in 18 USC §16(b), which is incorporated into INA §101(a)(43)(F)’s definition of a “crime of violence,” was unconstitutionally vague. The court found that §16(b)’s language suffered from the same indeterminacy the U.S. Supreme Court found in the Armed Career Criminal Act’s (ACCA) “residual clause” definition of a violent felony in Johnson v. United States, and was thus void for vagueness.
The Ninth Circuit granted the petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decision, which found that the petitioner was inadmissible under INA §212(a)(3)(B) for having engaged in terrorist activity. The court held that the Board erred in failing to apply the clear error standard of review to the Immigration Judge’s finding that the petitioner lacked the “intent to endanger, directly or indirectly, the safety of one or more individuals” when he participated in planning an attempted coup against the Philippine government in 1989.
The Ninth Circuit upheld the Board of Immigration Appeals, holding that the failure of a Notice to Appear (NTA) to specify the date and location of a removal hearing has no effect on the stop-time rule. Accordingly, the court found that the petitioner, who had not accrued the requisite period of continuous physical presence by the time he was served with the NTA in his removal proceeding, was statutorily ineligible for cancellation of removal.