Gwamaka Mwamlenga v. Jefferson Sessions, III

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PUBLICATION File Name: 18a0215n.06 No. 17-3796 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT FILED Apr 26, 2018 GWAMAKA ABELY MWAMLENGA, ) DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk ) Petitioner, ) ) ON PETITION FOR REVIEW v. ) FROM THE UNITED STATES ) BOARD OF IMMIGRATION JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, III, Attorney General, ) APPEALS ) Respondent. ) ) ) BEFORE: BATCHELDER, McKEAGUE, and GRIFFIN, Circuit Judges. GRIFFIN, Circuit Judge. Petitioner Gwamaka Abely Mwamlenga seeks review of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision denying his application to adjust his immigration status and ordering his removal. Mwamlenga now contends that the immigration judge (IJ) (1) erred in finding him not credible and (2) violated his due-process rights by admitting into evidence an I-9 form that was not provided to him at least 15 days before the hearing, as required by the immigration court’s practice manual. Because petitioner’s arguments are meritless, we deny his petition. I. Mwamlenga initially came to the United States from Tanzania in 2012 on a student visa. Unfortunately, however, halfway through petitioner’s first semester of college his brother passed away. His brother had been paying his tuition and expenses, and without the financial means to continue, petitioner dropped out of college. In June of 2013, he applied for a job with Charter No. 17-3796 Mwamlenga v. Sessions HR. Petitioner filled out an I-9 employment eligibility form, in which he claimed under penalty of perjury that he was a United States citizen. After two weeks at the company, his supervisor told him that there was a problem with his paperwork and that the “E-Verify” system reported that he was not authorized to work. Mwamlenga knew he could not legally work, so he did not attempt to fix the issue, which he could have done by going to a Social Security Administration office and contesting the “E-Verify” report. Charter HR then terminated his employment. In July of 2013, the government instituted removal proceedings against Mwamlenga. In September of that year he married Tiffany Luke, who filed on his behalf an I-130 petition to change Mwamlenga’s status on the basis of their marriage. The parties appeared for a merits hearing on the government’s removal petition in July of 2014, during which petitioner testified. The IJ found that Mwamlenga was not credible because he “was nonresponsive to questions from the [government] counsel and the [IJ] and failed to explain prior false statements when asked to do so.” Ultimately, the IJ denied petitioner’s application to change his status and ordered him removed to Tanzania under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), finding that “he had not establish[ed] that he did not knowingly and willfully make a false claim to U.S. citizenship.” Mwamlenga timely appealed the IJ’s decision to the BIA, raising issues with the IJ’s credibility determination against him and an alleged due-process violation because the government presented his I-9 form as evidence at the hearing without previously providing it to him. The BIA affirmed and dismissed Mwamlenga’s petition. On the ...

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