Enriquez v. Garland

Case: 21-60837 Document: 00516617489 Page: 1 Date Filed: 01/19/2023 United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit No. 21-60837 FILED January 19, 2023 Ricardo Enriquez, Lyle W. Cayce Clerk Petitioner, versus Merrick Garland, U.S. Attorney General, Respondent. Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Agency No. A096 517 803 Before Wiener, Elrod, and Engelhardt, Circuit Judges. Per Curiam:* Ricardo Enriquez, a native and citizen of Mexico, petitions this court for review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals dismissing his appeal. We DISMISS the petition for review. Enriquez was convicted of indecency with a child by contact under section 21.11(a)(1) of the Texas Penal Code. In light of that conviction, the Department of Homeland Security served Enriquez with a Notice to Appear, * This opinion is not designated for publication. See 5TH CIR. R. 47.5. Case: 21-60837 Document: 00516617489 Page: 2 Date Filed: 01/19/2023 No. 21-60837 charging him as removable under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) for being convicted of sexual abuse of a minor, which is an “aggravated felony” under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(A). Afterwards, the Department of Homeland Security lodged an additional charge of removability against Enriquez as a noncitizen “convicted of a crime of domestic violence, a crime of stalking, or a crime of child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment.” 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(E)(i). In response, Enriquez filed an application for cancellation of removal. At his removal hearing, Enriquez admitted the factual allegations contained in the Notice to Appear and stated that he is not afraid to return to Mexico. Consequently, the Immigration Judge determined that Enriquez is not eligible for cancellation of removal and ordered that Enriquez be removed to Mexico. Enriquez appealed to the BIA and the BIA affirmed the Immigration Judge’s decision. I. Here, Enriquez challenges the BIA’s determination by contesting the underlying criminal conviction. But a final conviction “provides a valid basis for deportation unless it is overturned in a judicial post-conviction proceeding.” Zinnanti v. INS, 651 F.2d 420, 421 (5th Cir. 1981). Enriquez has not alleged that his conviction has been overturned, and he may not collaterally attack the validity of his conviction through an immigration proceeding. See Brown v. INS, 856 F.2d 728, 731 (5th Cir. 1988). Furthermore, Enriquez forfeits any challenge to the BIA’s determination that his conviction constitutes a “crime of . . . child abuse” under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(E)(i) because he fails to brief the issue. See Jaco v. Garland, 24 F.4th 395, 401 n.1 (5th Cir. 2021) (“Although [the Court] liberally construe[s] pro se petitions, pro se litigants must still comply with the 2 Case: 21-60837 Document: 00516617489 Page: 3 Date Filed: 01/19/2023 No. 21-60837 civil rules of appellate procedure.”); Chambers v. Mukasey, 520 F.3d 445, 448 n.1 (5th Cir. 2008) (holding that issues not briefed are forfeited on appeal). II. Having argued that none of Enriquez’s arguments is meritorious, the government nonetheless contends that this case should be remanded to …

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