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Mauricio-Vasquez v. Whitaker

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

December 6, 2018

YERSON MAURICIO-VASQUEZ, Petitioner,
v.
MATTHEW G. WHITAKER, Acting Attorney General; UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondents.

          Argued: September 25, 2018

          On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals.

         ARGUED:

          Madeline Jean Cohen, WILEY REIN LLP, Washington, D.C., for Petitioner.

          Dawn S. Conrad, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent.

         ON BRIEF:

          Adina Appelbaum, CAPITAL AREA IMMIGRANTS' RIGHTS (CAIR) COALITION, Washington, D.C.; P. Nicholas Peterson, WILEY REIN LLP, Washington, D.C., for Petitioner.

          Chad A. Readler, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Mary Jane Candaux, Assistant Director, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent.

          Before NIEMEYER, DIAZ, and FLOYD, Circuit Judges.

          DIAZ, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         Yerson Jack Mauricio-Vasquez is a lawful permanent resident of the United States and a native and citizen of Peru. Before us is his petition for review of the determination by the Board of Immigration Appeals that he is removable under the Immigration and Nationality Act (the "INA") based on his commission of a crime involving moral turpitude within five years of his admission to the United States.

         The Board found that the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") proved by clear and convincing evidence that Mauricio-Vasquez's date of admission was in 2008, less than five years before he committed Virginia felony abduction in 2012. We disagree, and therefore grant Mauricio-Vasquez's petition for review, vacate the order of removal, and remand to the agency with instructions to grant Mauricio-Vasquez's motion to terminate removal proceedings.

         I.

         A.

         DHS began removal proceedings against Mauricio-Vasquez in January 2016, charging that he was removable under Section 237(a)(2)(A)(i) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(i).[1] A noncitizen is removable under that section if he is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude committed within five years after his date of admission.

         There is no dispute that Mauricio-Vasquez was convicted on July 12, 2013 of felony abduction in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-47, and that he committed the offense on September 13, 2012. What is in dispute is Mauricio-Vasquez's date of admission to the United States, which in turn determines whether DHS met its burden to prove by clear ...


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