Omar Osman Mohamed v. Merrick B. Garland

United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth Circuit ___________________________ No. 21-2309 ___________________________ Omar Osman Mohamed Petitioner v. Merrick B. Garland, Attorney General of the United States Respondent ____________ Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals ____________ Submitted: March 16, 2022 Filed: August 10, 2022 ____________ Before GRUENDER, BENTON, and ERICKSON, Circuit Judges. ____________ ERICKSON, Circuit Judge. In 1996, Omar Osman Mohamed, a native and citizen of Somalia, entered the United States as a refugee in New York City, New York, when he was 16 years old. His status was subsequently adjusted to lawful permanent resident on June 26, 1999. Mohamed’s parents became naturalized citizens in 2003 and 2006 but Mohamed’s application was denied due to a returned check for the processing fees. Before being ordered removed from the United States, Mohamed resided in St. Paul, Minnesota, with his brother. Mohamed petitions for review of the order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) dismissing his appeal. Having jurisdiction pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(2), we deny the petition. I. BACKGROUND This case has a lengthy procedural history that has now spanned more than a decade. Mohamed initially came to the attention of immigration authorities following a conviction in New York federal court for possessing cathinone (“khat”), in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 844(a). In September 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) commenced removal proceedings against Mohamed due to the controlled substance violation. See 8 U.S.C. § 227(a)(2)(B)(i) (“Any alien who at any time after admission has been convicted of a violation of (or a conspiracy to attempt to violate) any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance offense (as defined in section 802 of Title 21), other than a single offense involving possession for one’s own use of 30 games or less of marijuana, is deportable.”). The Immigration Judge (“IJ”) entered an in absentia removal order on January 10, 2012. Four and a half years later, Mohamed moved to reopen the removal proceedings, asserting he did not receive notice of the hearing. The IJ reopened the proceedings on July 25, 2016, noting the notice of hearing sent to Mohamed had been returned by the post office as undelivered. While the reopened removal proceedings were pending, in June 2017, Mohamed was convicted in Minnesota state court on two counts of insurance fraud—employment of runners. DHS submitted these convictions as an additional charge of removability. Mohamed’s application for asylum and for withholding of removal, which was received by the immigration court in Fort Snelling, Minnesota, on September 18, 2017, checked boxes indicating Mohamed was seeking relief based on religion, nationality, political opinion, membership in a particular social group, and torture convention. R. at 1416. He explained that he was a member of a clan that had been victimized by violence committed by other clans in late March/early April 1991, and he feared the same clans who had previously attacked his family would harm or …

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