The Board of Immigration Appeals ruled today that a conditional permanent resident admitted as such at a port of entry is ineligible for cancellation of removal since he was an aggravated felon. The Respondent in the case was a citizen of North Korea who was convicted of two crimes involving moral turpitude and an aggravated felony. He was admitted as a conditional resident in 1991 and was placed in removal proceedings in 2013. He conceded removability at his hearing but applied for adjustment of status along with a 212(h) waiver. The immigration judge ruled that he was ineligible for adjustment and the waiver since he was admitted to the United States and convicted of an aggravated felony. In upholding the immigration judge’s decision the Board ruled that conditional residents admitted at a port of entry is an alien admitted for permanent residence. The Board ruled that since the conviction was within 7 years of his admission, he was ineligible for cancellation of removal. Click here to read the decision.
In a decision dated last month, the Seventh Circuit ruled that the Board of Immigration Appeals erred in relying on uncorroborated police reports to deny 212(c) relief. The Petitioner in the case was convicted in 1990 of a domestic abuse charge. He was subsequently arrested several times but was never convicted of anything else. The immigration judge ruled that he was credible but denied his request for relief since he did not show that he was rehabilitated. The BIA affirmed the immigration judge’s decision reasoning that even though the case was a “close call”, the Respondent did not show that he was rehabilitated. The court, in reversing the BIA’s decision, reasoned that the Board did not follow its own binding decision in Arreguin, 21 I&N Dec. 38 (BIA 1995) and thus the case was denied improperly. The court ruled that since the police reports were uncorroborated, they should not have been used as a basis to deny relief in the case. The case is Avila-Ramirez v. Holder.