Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Alvarado v. Whitaker

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

January 24, 2019

JOSE M. ALVARADO, Petitioner,
v.
MATTHEW WHITAKER, [*] ACTING UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent.

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

          Matthew S. Cameron for petitioner.

          Paul F. Stone, Senior Counsel for National Security Unit, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, with whom Chad A. Readler, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, and Ethan B. Kanter, Acting Chief, National Security Unit, Office of Immigration Litigation, were on brief, for respondent.

          Sayoni Maitra, Karen Musalo, Eunice Lee, and Center for Gender & Refugee Studies were on brief for amicus curiae Center for Gender & Refugee Studies.

          Before Torruella, Lipez, and Thompson, Circuit Judges.

          LIPEZ, CIRCUIT JUDGE

         This case requires us to decide, as a question of first impression for our court, whether the "persecutor bar" -- which disqualifies certain persons from immigration relief -- applies to an applicant who assisted or participated in persecution but acted without a personal motive to do so. The petitioner in this case, Jose Alvarado, is a Salvadoran native and citizen who concedes standing guard for his superiors while they engaged in an act of persecution. He denies, however, that he shared their motive to persecute.

         An immigration judge ("IJ") granted Alvarado cancellation of removal under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act ("NACARA") after concluding that the persecutor bar does not apply to Alvarado because he lacked a motive to persecute. The Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") reversed the IJ's order, finding the persecutor bar applicable despite the absence of such a motive.

         Alvarado seeks review of the decision of the BIA. After careful consideration, we hold that a motive to persecute by an applicant who assisted or otherwise participated in persecution is not required for application of the persecutor bar. Accordingly, we deny Alvarado's petition.

         A. Factual Background

         We draw the following facts from Alvarado's testimony before the IJ, which the IJ found to be credible.[1] From 1981 to 1984, during El Salvador's Civil War, Alvarado served in the Salvadoran National Guard (the "National Guard"), which he joined "out of economic necessity" because of the lack of employment opportunities. As a member of the National Guard, Alvarado "could earn enough . . . to just get by."

         Alvarado's role in the National Guard was to patrol and provide security. The specific incident at issue here occurred when Alvarado was patrolling a town. Alvarado stopped a man and asked him for identification. He then began to question the man. Alvarado's supervisors soon arrived at the scene, took over the questioning, and eventually moved the man to a different location for interrogation as a suspected guerilla. During the interrogation, Alvarado stood guard while his superiors hit the man and placed needles under his fingernails.[2]

         B. Applicable Law

         NACARA provides, in relevant part, that Salvadoran citizens living in the United States are eligible for various forms of immigration benefits and relief from deportation, including "Special Rule Cancellation of Removal," if they meet certain requirements. See 8 U.S.C. § 1229b. However, a person otherwise eligible for cancellation of removal under NACARA is ineligible if he "ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of an individual because of the individual's race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.