Santiago Martinez v. Jefferson Sessions

FILED NOT FOR PUBLICATION DEC 07 2017 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT SANTIAGO MARTINEZ, No. 14-72593 Petitioner, Agency No. A070-063-758 v. MEMORANDUM* JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Submitted December 5, 2017** Pasadena, California Before: D.W. NELSON and REINHARDT, Circuit Judges, and STEEH,*** District Judge. * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. ** The panel unanimously concludes this case is suitable for decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2). *** The Honorable George Caram Steeh III, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, sitting by designation. Santiago Martinez (“Petitioner” or “Martinez”), a native and citizen of Guatemala, petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’s (“BIA”) denial of his claim for special rule cancellation of removal under Section 203 of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (“NACARA”). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We review de novo questions of law, which include the “application of law to undisputed facts.” Barrios v. Holder, 581 F.3d 849, 857 (9th Cir. 2009) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). “Factual findings are reviewed for substantial evidence.” Id. at 854 (citation omitted). We GRANT the petition for review and REMAND. 1. Under Section 309(f) of the Illegal Immigration and Immigrant Responsibility Act (“IIRIRA”), as amended by Section 203 of NACARA, the Attorney General has discretion to “cancel removal of, and adjust to the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence” an alien who, among other things, demonstrates he “has been a person of good moral character” during the “7 years immediately preceding the date of [his] [NACARA] application.” IIRIRA § 309(f), as amended by NACARA § 203. “No person ‘who has given false testimony for the purpose of obtaining any [immigration] benefits’ during the relevant period for which good moral character is required shall be found to be a 2 person of good moral character.” Aragon-Salazar v. Holder, 769 F.3d 699, 701–02 (9th Cir. 2014) (citing 8 U.S.C. § 1101(f)(6)). The only issue we must reach is whether it was proper for the IJ, in assessing Martinez’s “good moral character” under NACARA, to consider the allegedly false testimony he gave at hearings conducted in 2003, 2007, and 2011, when he filed his initial NACARA application in 2000. Petitioner alleges the seven-year period for showing “good moral character” ended on November 6, 2000, when he filed his initial application. The government contends the seven-year period ended on May 25, 2010, when he filed his updated application. In Aragon-Salazar, this Court held “the seven-year period during which good moral character is required under NACARA ends on the date of the filing of the application.” 769 F.3d at 701 (emphasis added). “[U]pdates to [the] initial application” do not extend the period under which a court assesses ...

Original document
Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals