de la Cruz Orellana v. Sessions

United States Court of Appeals For the First Circuit No. 16-2106 MELVI AYDE DE LA CRUZ-ORELLANA; ALFREDO FLORES, Petitioners, v. JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, III, United States Attorney General, Respondent. PETITION FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS Before Barron, Selya, and Lipez, Circuit Judges. Stephen M. Born on brief for petitioners. Carmel A. Morgan, Trial Attorney, Office of Immigration Litigation, Chad A. Readler, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and Shelley R. Goad, Assistant Director, Office of Immigration Litigation, on brief for respondent. December 18, 2017 LIPEZ, Circuit Judge. Petitioners Melvi Ayde de la Cruz- Orellana and Alfredo Flores are a wife and husband who seek review of a decision denying their applications for voluntary departure to Guatemala and Mexico, respectively. An Immigration Judge ("IJ") denied petitioners' applications on discretionary grounds, and the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") affirmed the IJ's decision. Petitioners timely sought review in this court. We now dismiss for want of jurisdiction. I. Alfredo Flores entered the United States without proper entry documentation in 1986, and Melvi Ayde de la Cruz-Orellana did the same three years later.1 The two met in California, and they were married in approximately 1994. At the time of these immigration proceedings, they resided in Providence, Rhode Island, with their son, Jonathan Flores. Appearing at a removal hearing in March 2009, the couple submitted written petitions to the IJ requesting cancellation of their removal and, alternatively, voluntary departure.2 To be statutorily eligible for cancellation of removal, petitioners had 1 The record reflects some uncertainty over whether Cruz- Orellana entered the United States in 1989 or 1992. As her date of entry is immaterial to our decision, we will accept arguendo Cruz-Orellana's representation that she entered the United States in 1989. 2 The written petitions originally requested several other forms of relief that petitioners dropped before the IJ issued his decision. - 2 - to show (amongst other factors) that they had been "person[s] of good moral character" for at least ten years, and that their removal "would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" to their United States-citizen child. 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1). They similarly had to show -- again, amongst other factors -- that they had been persons of good moral character for at least five years to be statutorily eligible for voluntary departure. 8 U.S.C. § 1229c(b)(1). Statutory eligibility, however, does not guarantee success. The IJ could deny petitioners' requests for cancellation of removal and voluntary departure as a matter of discretion. See 8 U.S.C. §§ 1229b(b)(1), 1229c(b)(1) (stating that the Attorney General "may" cancel an immigrant's removal and "may" permit him to depart voluntarily). In an oral decision in November 2014, the IJ rejected petitioners' requests for both forms of relief. First, he found that Cruz-Orellana had "given false testimony for the purpose of obtaining" immigration benefits, and was therefore not a person of good moral character for cancellation of removal purposes. 8 U.S.C. § 1101(f)(6). Specifically, Cruz-Orellana completed an application for asylum in 1993, representing ...

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