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Mejia-Ramaja v. Lynch

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

November 20, 2015

JOSÉ MIGUEL MEJÍA-RAMAJA, Petitioner,
v.
LORETTA E. LYNCH, [*] ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, Respondent

PETITION FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS.

Randy Olen on brief for petitioner.

Benjamin C. Mizer, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Jesse M. Bless, Senior Litigation Counsel, Office of Immigration Litigation, and Alexander J. Lutz, Trial Attorney, Office of Immigration Litigation, on brief for respondent.

Before Torruella, Selya and Lynch, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 20

SELYA, Circuit Judge.

The sole issue in this immigration case is whether the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) abused its discretion in declining to reopen the petitioner's removal proceedings. After careful consideration, we conclude that the BIA acted well within the realm of its discretion. Accordingly, we deny the petition for judicial review.

We briefly rehearse the travel of the case. The petitioner, José Miguel Mejí a-Ramaja, is a Guatemalan national. He entered the United States without inspection in 2003. Roughly two years later, federal authorities instituted removal proceedings against him. See 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(A)(i).

The petitioner conceded removability and cross-applied for withholding of removal and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT). Following an evidentiary hearing held on December 22, 2010, the Immigration Judge (IJ) denied the petitioner's cross-applications and ordered him removed to Guatemala.

The petitioner appealed to the BIA. After full briefing, the BIA denied his appeal on February 26, 2013. Judicial review was not sought, and the order for removal became final.

More than a year elapsed. Then -- on March 31, 2014 -- the petitioner filed a motion to reopen his removal proceedings. In his motion papers, he alleged in substance that country conditions in his homeland had changed for the worse and that he had new evidence to submit in support of his applications for withholding of removal and CAT protection.

On August 19, 2014, the BIA denied the motion to reopen. It held that the motion was untimely and that, in all events, the petitioner had not made a sufficient showing to warrant reopening the removal proceedings. This timely petition for judicial review ensued.

We review the BIA's denial of a motion to reopen removal proceedings for abuse of discretion. See Kucana v. Holder,558 U.S. 233, 242, 130 S.Ct. 827, 175 L.Ed.2d 694 (2010); Xue Su Wang v. Holder,750 F.3d 87, 89 (1st Cir. 2014). We conclude, without serious question, that the BIA's assessment of the ...


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