Benitez-Pinot v. Garland

Case: 20-60906 Document: 00516395515 Page: 1 Date Filed: 07/15/2022 United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit FILED July 15, 2022 No. 20-60906 Lyle W. Cayce Clerk Romario Benitez-Pinot, Petitioner, versus Merrick Garland, U.S. Attorney General, Respondent. Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals BIA No. A213 133 157 Before Jolly, Elrod, and Haynes, Circuit Judges. Per Curiam:* Romario Benitez-Pinot, a native and citizen of Honduras, petitions for review of an order by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissing his appeal from the Immigration Judge’s (IJ) denial of his motion to reopen * Pursuant to 5th Circuit Rule 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5th Circuit Rule 47.5.4. Case: 20-60906 Document: 00516395515 Page: 2 Date Filed: 07/15/2022 No. 20-60906 proceedings and to rescind the order of removal entered against him in absentia. For the following reasons, we DENY the petition for review. I. Background On August 29, 2017, Benitez-Pinot entered the United States unlawfully and unaccompanied at the age of sixteen. He was detained and served with a Notice to Appear (NTA) that did not contain a date, time, or place of his removal hearing. It did, however, inform him of his duty to provide the immigration court with a current mailing address and phone number, as well as the consequences of failing to appear once his hearing was scheduled. The Office of Refugee Resettlement subsequently placed Benitez-Pinot with his uncle who was living in Milwaukee. Benitez-Pinot’s uncle, who is allegedly undocumented, falsely listed his address as 2487 South 10th Street. His uncle’s actual address was 2842 South 12th Street. Notice of an immigration hearing scheduled for May 2, 2018, was mailed to the incorrect address provided by Benitez-Pinot’s uncle. When Benitez- Pinot failed to appear on May 2, 2018, the immigration court entered an in absentia order of removal against him. Benitez-Pinot asserts that he did not discover that his address was listed incorrectly or learn of his removal order until January 2019. On April 22, 2019, he filed a motion to reopen and rescind the in absentia order, arguing that he never received notice of the May 2, 2018, hearing and that exceptional circumstances warranted reopening. The IJ denied the motion to reopen, and the BIA dismissed Benitez-Pinot’s appeal. Benitez-Pinot timely petitioned for review. II. Jurisdiction & Standard of Review We have jurisdiction over Benitez-Pinot’s petition under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(1). We review the denial of a motion to reopen under “a highly 2 Case: 20-60906 Document: 00516395515 Page: 3 Date Filed: 07/15/2022 No. 20-60906 deferential abuse-of-discretion standard.” Gomez-Palacios v. Holder, 560 F.3d 354, 358 (5th Cir. 2009). Accordingly, we “must affirm the BIA’s decision as long as it is not capricious, without foundation in the evidence, or otherwise so irrational that it is arbitrary rather than the result of any perceptible rational approach.” Id. We …

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