Neftali Maldonado-Guzman v. Jefferson Sessions III

UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 16-2309 NEFTALI MALDONADO-GUZMAN, Petitioner, v. JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Submitted: October 16, 2017 Decided: December 28, 2017 Before TRAXLER and AGEE, Circuit Judges, and Loretta C. BIGGS, United States District Judge for the Middle District of North Carolina, sitting by designation. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Jaime Winthuysen Aparisi, Silver Spring, Maryland, for Petitioner. Chad A. Readler, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Russell J.E. Verby, Senior Litigation Counsel, Nancy K. Canter, Trial Attorney, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Neftali Maldonado-Guzman petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“the Board”) dismissal of his appeal from an immigration judge’s (“IJ”) order pretermitting his application for cancellation of removal, denying his request for a continuance, and granting voluntary departure. His sole challenge is to the Board’s denial of his request for a continuance. For the following reasons, we deny the petition for review. I. Maldonado-Guzman, a native and citizen of Mexico, unlawfully entered the United States in 1998. Apart from two brief return visits to Mexico, he has resided without authorization in the United States since that time. In 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) served Maldonado- Guzman with a Notice to Appear for removal proceedings and charged him as removable for presence in the United States without admission or parole under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(A)(i). At a hearing on the Notice to Appear in February 2015, Maldonado- Guzman admitted removability and obtained a continuance until January 2016 based on his intent to apply for cancellation of removal and for a U nonimmigrant visa (“U visa”). 1 1 Congress designed the U visa to help protect victims of “domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of aliens, and other crimes” and to aid in the prosecution of these offenses. Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, Pub. L. No. 106–386, § 1513(a)(2), 114 Stat. 1464, 1533; see 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(U) (codifying Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000). U visa eligibility requires a 2 One month before the January 2016 hearing, Maldonado-Guzman filed a motion for a continuance so that he could prepare a U visa application. Along with the motion, Maldonado-Guzman provided a recently-obtained copy of a certified I-918 Supplement B, which stated that he had been injured during an assault in 1999. The document stated that Maldonado-Guzman was helpful throughout the investigation and prosecution of his assailants, and that his cooperation was no longer necessary. The record contains no opposition from the DHS nor ruling by the IJ in response to the motion. At the January 2016 hearing, Maldonado-Guzman conceded that he was ineligible for cancellation of removal, despite his previously expressed desire to pursue it. He renewed his motion for a continuance to have additional time ...

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