Ramon Williams v. Attorney General United States

PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT _____________ Nos. 16-3816 & 17-1705 _____________ RAMON ANDREW WILLIAMS a/k/a Andrew Denton Williamson a/k/a Ramon Williams, Petitioner v. ATTORNEY GENERAL UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent ____________________________________ On Petitions for Review of Orders of the Board of Immigration Appeals Agency No: A018-687-061 Immigration Judge: Leo A. Finston ____________________________________ Argued November 8, 2017 Before: SMITH, Chief Judge, HARDIMAN, Circuit Judge, and BRANN, District Judge* (Opinion Filed: January 19, 2018) Thomas H. Lee, II Argia J. DiMarco Ryan M. Moore Christopher J. Mauro [ARGUED] Dechert 2929 Arch Street 18th Floor, Cira Centre Philadelphia, PA 19104 Seymour James, Jr. Adriene Holder Maria E. Navarro Hasan Shafiqullah Ward Oliver Sarah Gillman Whitney W. Elliott Legal Aid Society Immigration Law Unit 199 Water Street 3rd Floor New York, NY 10038 * The Honorable Matthew W. Brann of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, sitting by designation. 2 Counsel for Petitioner Chad A. Readler Acting Assistant Attorney General Terri J. Scadron Assistant Director Shahrad Baghai Christina Greer [ARGUED] United States Department of Justice Office of Immigration Litigation P.O. Box 878 Ben Franklin Station Washington, DC 20044 Counsel for Respondent ________________ OPINION ________________ SMITH, Chief Judge. In this consolidated proceeding, Ramon Williams asks us to consider whether a prior conviction under Georgia’s forgery statute, Ga. Code Ann. § 16-9-1(a) (2006), constitutes an aggravated felony conviction for purposes of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (“INA”). See 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii). Because we conclude that the Georgia 3 conviction is an offense “relating to . . . forgery,” 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(R), Williams is properly subject to removal as an aggravated felon, and we will therefore deny the petitions for review. I. Williams, a citizen of Guyana and a lawful permanent resident of the United States, immigrated to this country in 1970, when he was thirteen months old. He has no family in Guyana; his parents, grandparents, siblings, and children are all United States citizens. In 2006, he pleaded guilty in Georgia state court to five counts of first degree forgery pursuant to section 16-9-1(a) of the Georgia Code. He initially received a sentence of two years in prison, which later was reduced to one year. In 2013, Williams received a notice to appear charging him as removable as a result of having been convicted of an aggravated felony. See 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii). Appearing before an Immigration Judge (“IJ”) in New Jersey, he contested removability.1 The IJ determined that the Georgia forgery conviction rendered Williams deportable as an aggravated felon and otherwise denied relief. Williams appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”). 1 Williams also sought asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture. The IJ denied these forms of relief and the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) affirmed. Williams does not challenge the denial of those claims in his petitions before this Court. 4 Before the BIA, he argued, inter alia, that the Georgia forgery statute is broader than ...

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