Lopez-Valenzuela v. Garland

Appellate Case: 21-9526 Document: 010110614670 Date Filed: 12/06/2021 Page: 1 FILED United States Court of Appeals UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS Tenth Circuit FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT December 6, 2021 _________________________________ Christopher M. Wolpert Clerk of Court ALEJANDRO LOPEZ-VALENZUELA, Petitioner, v. No. 21-9526 (Petition for Review) MERRICK B. GARLAND, United States Attorney General, Respondent. _________________________________ ORDER AND JUDGMENT* _________________________________ Before TYMKOVICH, Chief Judge, MORITZ and ROSSMAN, Circuit Judges. _________________________________ Mr. Alejandro Lopez-Valenzuela petitions for review of a final decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The BIA dismissed Mr. Lopez-Valenzuela’s appeal from an Immigration Judge’s (IJ) order denying an additional continuance and finding Mr. Lopez-Valenzuela had not established ineffective assistance of his prior * After examining the briefs and appellate record, this panel has determined unanimously that oral argument would not materially assist in the determination of this appeal. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2); 10th Cir. R. 34.1(G). The case is therefore ordered submitted without oral argument. This order and judgment is not binding precedent, except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, and collateral estoppel. It may be cited, however, for its persuasive value consistent with Fed. R. App. P. 32.1 and 10th Cir. R. 32.1. Appellate Case: 21-9526 Document: 010110614670 Date Filed: 12/06/2021 Page: 2 counsel. Exercising jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(5), we deny the petition for review. BACKGROUND Mr. Lopez-Valenzuela is a native and citizen of Mexico who entered the United States in 2000. Almost twelve years later, the government began removal proceedings on the ground that Mr. Lopez-Valenzuela had entered the country without authorization. An IJ granted Mr. Lopez-Valenzuela a year-long continuance to obtain legal representation and prepare his case. In January 2014, Mr. Lopez-Valenzuela appeared at a hearing with counsel and asked for more time to prepare. The IJ granted a nine-month continuance and directed the filing of pleadings. During that time, Mr. Lopez-Valenzuela filed an application for cancellation of removal based on hardship to his United States-citizen daughter, who suffers from asthma and lives in Georgia with her mother. Mr. Lopez-Valenzuela’s next hearing was scheduled for August 2017. He appeared at the hearing with counsel, who said he had “lost track of the pleadings” and was not prepared to proceed. R. at 89. The IJ continued the hearing for a month. In September 2017, Mr. Lopez-Valenzuela appeared before the IJ, conceded removability, and submitted proof that an I-130 form had been filed on his behalf.1 The IJ scheduled a final hearing on Mr. Lopez-Valenzuela’s cancellation of removal 1 An approved I-130 form can confirm that an alien is a relative of a United States citizen and is a step toward “apply[ing] for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status.” Id. at 273. 2 Appellate Case: 21-9526 Document: 010110614670 Date Filed: 12/06/2021 Page: 3 application for February 2019 and ordered that all documentary evidence be submitted thirty days before the hearing. Six months before that hearing, however, Mr. Lopez- Valenzuela’s counsel withdrew. Mr. Lopez-Valenzuela appeared at the February 2019 …

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