Joshim Uddin v. Attorney General United States

PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS _____________ No. 17-1056 ____________ JOSHIM UDDIN, Petitioner v. ATTORNEY GENERAL UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (Agency No.: A208-059-346) Immigration Judge: Honorable Alan Vomacka Argued July 13, 2017 Before: GREENAWAY, JR., SHWARTZ, and RENDELL, Circuit Judges (Opinion filed: September 25, 2017) Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, Esquire (Argued) Law Office of Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran 875 Avenue of the Americas Suite 906 New York, NY 10001 Counsel for Petitioner Daniel I. Smulow (Argued) United States Department of Justice Office of Immigration Litigation P. O. Box 878 Ben Franklin Station Washington, DE 20044 Counsel for Respondent OPINION 2 RENDELL, Circuit Judge: The Board of Immigration Appeals (“Board”) found that Joshim Uddin, a citizen and native of Bangladesh, was ineligible for withholding of removal because he was a member of the Bangladesh National Party (“BNP”), a major political party in his homeland. According to the Board, the BNP qualified as a Tier III terrorist organization under the Immigration and Naturalization Act (“INA”), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi)(III). Thus, Uddin’s membership in the BNP rendered him ineligible for relief. While we will deny the petition for review challenging the Board’s ruling dismissing Uddin’s Convention Against Torture (“CAT”) claim, we will grant the petition in part and remand on his withholding of removal claim. The Board has pointed to terrorist acts by BNP members. But it did not find that BNP leadership authorized any of the terrorist activity committed by party members. Today, we join the reasoning of the Seventh Circuit and the Board in many of its own opinions by holding as follows: unless the agency finds that party leaders authorized terrorist activity committed by its members, an entity such as the BNP cannot be deemed a Tier III terrorist organization. I. Statutory Background The so-called “terrorism bar” precludes aliens who are members of “terrorist organizations” from seeking several 3 forms of relief, including withholding of removal. See 8 U.S.C. §§ 1182(a)(3)(B)(i), (vi); 1227(a)(4)(B); 1158(b)(2)(A)(v); 1231(b)(3)(B)(iv). The INA, in turn, establishes three different kinds of terrorist organizations. Tier I terrorist organizations are officially listed groups designated by the Secretary of State. 8 U.S.C. §§ 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi)(I) & 1189. Such groups are maintained on an official register, and are thus easily identifiable to immigration authorities. Tier II terrorist organizations are groups that have engaged in terrorist activity, and are designated by the Secretary of State in consultation with or upon the request of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security, for purposes of immigration exclusion. 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi)(II). Such groups are maintained on an official register, and are thus also easily identifiable to immigration authorities. Tier III terrorist organizations, the groups at issue in this case, are groups “of two or more individuals, whether organized or not, which engage[] in, or [have] a subgroup which engages in,” terrorist activity. 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi)(III). Terrorist activity is defined broadly by the statute as conduct ...

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