Monday, February 28, 2011

University of Houston Immigration Clinic Wins in BIA!

Guest Post by Geoffrey A. Hoffman

The University of Houston Immigration Clinic recently won a difficult BIA case involving the cancellation of removal of a lawful permanent resident. This is an interesting case where the respondent had many equities, including U.S. citizen children and grandchildren, a long history here in the U.S., but also criminal history including controlled substances convictions. The immigration court granted cancellation based on a positive credibility determination and Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  appealed the grant. You can see the Board grappling here, as it should, with the difficult issues of balancing of the equities in a cancellation case. In the end, the Board frankly was not persuaded by DHS's efforts to assert that the respondent attempted to "downplay" the crimes or minimize his involvement in criminal activity. At the end of the day, the Board correctly upheld the trial court's decision to grant cancellation of removal. This case would make an excellent teaching tool highlighting the roles of discretionary judgment and the importance of the IJ's credibility determinations in immigration court adjudications, especially involving EOIR 42A cancellation. Well done, by Dalia Castillo-Granados, the UH Immigration Clinic attorney who worked on the brief and deserves the credit!!!!  Download Bia ruling

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