Valerio-Ramirez v. Sessions

United States Court of Appeals For the First Circuit Nos. 16-2272, 17-1402 LIZBETH PATRICIA VALERIO-RAMIREZ, Petitioner, v. JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, III, ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent. PETITIONS FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS Before Lynch, Circuit Judge, Souter,* Associate Justice, and Selya, Circuit Judge. Mary P. Holper and Boston College Legal Services LAB Immigration Clinic for petitioner. John Willshire Carrera and Philip L. Torrey on brief for Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program and Immigrant Defense Project, amici curiae. Margaret Kuehne Taylor, Senior Litigation Counsel, Office of Immigration Litigation, with whom Chad A. Readler, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, and Derek C. Julius, Assistant Director, Office of Immigration Litigation, were on brief, for respondent. * Hon. David H. Souter, Associate Justice (Ret.) of the Supreme Court of the United States, sitting by designation. February 15, 2018 LYNCH, Circuit Judge. This case involves what constitutes a "particularly serious crime," the commission of which renders a petitioner ineligible for withholding of deportation or removal. The case is before this court for the second time. An Immigration Judge ("IJ") determined that Lizbeth Valerio-Ramirez's ("Valerio") conviction for aggravated identity theft was a "particularly serious crime" that rendered her ineligible for withholding of removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3)(B)(ii). The Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") affirmed, but noted in passing that Valerio was subject to deportation, under 8 U.S.C. § 1253(h), not removal. On petition for review, this court vacated the BIA's decision and remanded to the BIA to clarify the applicable legal standard. Velerio-Ramirez v. Lynch, 808 F.3d 111 (1st Cir. 2015). On remand, the BIA concluded that in deportation and removal proceedings alike, its longstanding framework under Matter of Frentescu supplies the standard for determining whether a non- aggravated felony qualifies as a "particularly serious crime." See 18 I. & N. Dec. 244, 247 (B.I.A. 1982). Reiterating its prior reasoning, the BIA again found Valerio ineligible for withholding. We find no error as to the applicable legal framework adopted by the BIA. We also find that we have jurisdiction to review the merits of the BIA's determination that Valerio's crime is "particularly serious." Having carefully reviewed the record, - 3 - we conclude that the BIA did not abuse its discretion. Accordingly, we deny Valerio's petitions for review. I. Background In March 1991, Valerio, a native and citizen of Costa Rica, entered the United States without inspection. She was apprehended and placed in deportation proceedings, which were administratively closed when she failed to appear at her initial hearing. Soon thereafter, Valerio's then-boyfriend Carlos Gomez purchased her a birth certificate and social security card in the name of Ms. Rosa Hernandez, a U.S. citizen who lived in Puerto Rico. From 1995 to 2007, Valerio used Hernandez's identity to secure employment, open numerous lines of credit, and purchase two cars and a home. Valerio also used Hernandez's identity to defraud the government of over $176,000 in housing assistance, food stamps, and other welfare benefits. In 2006, the real Rosa Hernandez learned ...

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