PETITION FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS.
Jaime Jasso and Law Offices of Jaime Jasso on brief for petitioner.
Stuart F. Delery, Assistant Attorney General, Shelley R. Goad, Assistant Director, and Tim Ramnitz, Attorney, Office of Immigration Litigation, U.S. Department of Justice, on brief for respondent.
Before Howard, Chief Judge, Selya and Lipez, Circuit Judges.
SELYA, Circuit Judge.
As a general matter, judicial review of a final order of an administrative agency is confined to the four corners of the administrative record. See, e.g., Fla. Power & Light Co. v. Lorion, 470 U.S. 729, 743-44, 105 S.Ct. 1598, 84 L.Ed.2d 643 (1985); Camp v. Pitts, 411 U.S. 138, 142, 93 S.Ct. 1241, 36 L.Ed.2d 106 (1973) (per curiam). That rule applies with full force to judicial review of removal orders in the immigration context. See 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(4)(A). But this general rule admits of an exception when the reviewing court's jurisdiction is called into question. As we explain below, this is such a case.
The relevant facts are easily assembled. The petitioner, Joel Njoroge Manguriu, a Kenyan national, entered the United States on a student visa in 1999 and overstayed. He married a U.S. citizen while here and his wife, Manuelita Lopez, filed an I-130 visa petition in July of 2006, seeking to classify the petitioner as an immediate relative (spouse) of a U.S. citizen. Shortly thereafter, the petitioner applied for adjustment of his immigration status based on Lopez's petition.
After due inquiry, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denied Lopez's I-130 petition on the ground of marriage fraud. That denial temporarily stymied the petitioner's quest for adjustment of status.
On August 19, 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated removal proceedings. The petitioner conceded removability, but sought relief from removal under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). See 8 U.S.C. § 1154(a)(1)(A)(iii). He predicated his VAWA petition on a claim that he was the spouse of an abusive U.S. citizen. At his request, the immigration judge (IJ) held the removal proceeding in abeyance and, in December of 2010, the USCIS approved his VAWA petition. Based on this approval, the petitioner asked the IJ to adjust his immigration status to that of a lawful permanent resident.
After a hearing, the IJ denied the petitioner's application for adjustment of status and, in March of 2012, ordered him removed. Although the IJ found that the petitioner was statutorily eligible for adjustment of status based on his approved VAWA petition, she denied the requested relief as a matter of discretion, finding that the petitioner had engaged in marriage fraud, had misrepresented material facts to the USCIS, had given false testimony in the removal proceeding, and had not consistently paid income taxes owed.
On February 26, 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed the IJ's decision. This timely petition for judicial review followed.
While the petition for judicial review was pending, a parallel ...