Abelardo Lopez Rodriguez v. Attorney General United States

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT _____________ No. 20-3309 _____________ ABELARDO ANDRES LOPEZ RODRIGUEZ, Petitioner v. ATTORNEY GENERAL UNITED STATES OF AMERICA _____________________________________ On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (No. A046-568-995) Immigration Judge: Amit Chugh _____________________________________ Submitted under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) July 9, 2021 (Filed July 20, 2021) Before: SHWARTZ, KRAUSE, and RENDELL, Circuit Judges. _________ O P I N I O N* _________ * This disposition is not an opinion of the full Court and pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7 does not constitute binding precedent. RENDELL, Circuit Judge. Abelardo Andres Lopez Rodriguez seeks review of an order by the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) affirming the denial of his application for cancellation of removal. Lopez Rodriguez failed to exhaust his administrative remedies with respect to two of his claims and his remaining argument lacks merit. The petition for review will therefore be dismissed in part and denied in part. I. Lopez Rodriguez is a native and citizen of Colombia. He entered the United States as a lawful permanent resident in 1998, when he was thirteen years old. Since then, he has been convicted of several state crimes, including a 2005 conviction for theft by deception, in violation of N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:20-4(a), and a 2010 conviction for possession of less than fifty grams of marijuana, in violation of N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:35- 10(a)(4). Upon returning to the United States from a trip abroad in 2012, Lopez Rodriguez was issued a Notice to Appear (“NTA”) charging him as inadmissible based on his 2005 and 2010 convictions. The issuance of the NTA initiated removal proceedings. At a master calendar hearing, counsel for Lopez Rodriguez admitted all the allegations in the NTA, including those regarding his two state court convictions. His attorney then stated that he would seek cancellation of removal for lawful permanent residents pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a). Under that provision, a lawful permanent resident deemed inadmissible is eligible for discretionary cancellation of removal if he 2 (1) has been an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence for not less than 5 years, (2) has resided in the United States continuously for 7 years after having been admitted in any status, and (3) has not been convicted of any aggravated felony. 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a). The second element, continuous residence in the United States, is at issue in this case. Under the “stop-time rule,” the accrual of a period of continuous residence generally ends either when the alien is (1) served an NTA or when (2) the alien commits a crime rendering him inadmissible under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2) or removable under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2) or (a)(4), whichever is earliest. 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(d)(1); see also Rachak v. Att’y Gen., 734 F.3d 214, 218 (3d Cir. 2013). Among the enumerated offenses that trigger the stop-time rule are “crime[s] involving moral turpitude” (“CIMTs”). 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I). After the master calendar hearing, the Immigration Judge …

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