Raul Garcia-Marin v. Merrick B. Garland

In the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ____________________ No. 20-3393 RAUL GARCIA MARIN, Petitioner, v. MERRICK B. GARLAND, Attorney General of the United States, Respondent. ____________________ Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. No. A075-818-976 ____________________ ARGUED SEPTEMBER 22, 2021 — DECIDED JULY 29, 2022 ____________________ Before SYKES, Chief Judge, and FLAUM and BRENNAN, Circuit Judges. SYKES, Chief Judge. Raul Garcia Marin, a native and citizen of Mexico, has a long history of illegal entry and removal from the United States. His most recent removal order was issued in 1997; he was removed the next year. But he repeat- edly reentered and returned to Mexico in the years that followed and has lived in this country continuously and 2 No. 20-3393 illegally since 2004. In 2019 the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) located him in prison and reinstated the 1997 removal order. Garcia Marin then applied for deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture. After an asylum officer issued a favorable “reasonable fear” determination, he was placed in “withholding only” proceedings before an immi- gration judge. The judge granted deferral of removal, but the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA” or “the Board”) reversed and ordered him removed pursuant to the reinstat- ed 1997 order. Garcia Marin petitioned for review but did not seek a stay of removal from this court. His request for an adminis- trative stay from DHS was denied, and he was removed from the United States while his case has been before us. Because he seeks only deferral of removal in a withholding- only proceeding, his removal moots his claim for relief. We therefore dismiss the petition for review. I. Background Garcia Marin entered the United States illegally as a child in 1988 and was removed that same year. He illegally reen- tered sometime thereafter, was ordered removed in 1997, and was removed to Mexico in 1998. He illegally reentered, returned to Mexico, and reentered again—most recently in 2004. He remained in the United States after that reentry, accumulating a criminal record that includes convictions for residential burglary, domestic battery, illegal firearm posses- sion, and four convictions for drunk driving. In 2019 DHS located Garcia Marin in an Illinois prison and reinstated the 1997 order of removal. Because Garcia No. 20-3393 3 Marin has been convicted of residential burglary, an aggra- vated felony, he is inadmissible for 20 years. 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(9)(A)(i). The aggravated felony conviction also bars him from seeking withholding of removal under the Immi- gration and Nationality Act or the Convention Against Torture. Id. § 1231(b)(3)(B). Garcia Marin sought deferral of removal under the Con- vention—the only form of relief potentially available to him. An asylum officer determined that he had a reasonable fear of torture and placed him in withholding-only proceedings before an immigration judge. A “withholding only” proceed- ing is a procedural track initiated by a reasonable-fear interview in which the applicant may seek only withholding or deferral of removal (deferral …

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