Jose Romero-Romero v. Attorney General United States

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT ________________ No. 21-1992 ________________ JOSE SELVIN ROMERO-ROMERO, Petitioner v. ATTORNEY GENERAL UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ________________ On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (A216-647-449) Immigration Judge: Jack Weil ________________ Submitted under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) May 2, 2022 Before: GREENAWAY, JR., PORTER, and PHIPPS, Circuit Judges (Opinion filed: August 23, 2022) ________________ OPINION* ________________ GREENAWAY, JR., Circuit Judge * This disposition is not an opinion of the full Court and pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7 does not constitute binding precedent. I Petitioner Jose Selvin Romero-Romero seeks review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“Board” or “BIA”) decision to affirm the denial of his motion to reopen. He argues that he is eligible for relief on the merits and that the underlying circumstances warranted reopening his proceedings sua sponte. Romero-Romero also argues that his due process rights were violated because he did not have counsel during his removal hearing. For the reasons set forth below, we disagree with Romero-Romero and will deny his petition for rehearing. II a. Romero-Romero’s Removal Proceeding Jose Selvin Romero-Romero is a native and citizen of Honduras. He entered the United States on or around November 9, 2013. Romero-Romero came to the attention of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS” or “the Department”) in October 2020, after being arrested for driving without a license and driving while intoxicated. Following time in state custody, Romero-Romero was transferred into the custody of DHS. At that time, the Department served him with a Notice to Appear for removal proceedings. The Notice to Appear charged Romero-Romero with removability pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(A)(i) (being present in the United States without having been admitted or paroled). The Notice to Appear also included information explaining to Romero-Romero his right to counsel, what he should consider before accepting legal 2 advice, and a list of free or low-cost legal services available to him. Romero-Romero signed each of these documents.1 Romero-Romero appeared before the Immigration Judge on October 28, 2020. At the hearing, he appeared pro se but the Immigration Judge explained to him his right to counsel and provided Romero-Romero with a list of free or low-cost legal services in the area. As is common, the court also employed the services of an official interpreter to provide these explanations in Romero-Romero’s native language of Spanish. Romero- Romero indicated on the record that he understood his right to counsel and the Immigration Judge offered him a continuance to retain counsel. Romero-Romero declined this opportunity and indicated he did not wish to postpone the case. The Immigration Judge held the hearing that day. At the hearing, the Immigration Judge inquired into Romero-Romero’s eligibility for relief. This inquiry included questioning Romero-Romero about his length of stay in the United States, family ties and immigration status, criminal history, and his ability to depart voluntarily. Romero-Romero responded to the “multitude of questions” “clearly” and with no indication that he “did not comprehend” …

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