Unpublished Disposition, 895 F.2d 1417 (9th Cir. 1990)

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit - 895 F.2d 1417 (9th Cir. 1990)


No. 88-7454.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Submitted Feb. 7, 1990.* Decided Feb. 9, 1990.

Before CANBY, BRUNETTI and FERNANDEZ, Circuit Judges.


Ana Reina Marquez-Ramirez petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals' (BIA) order dismissing her appeal from an Immigration Judge's (IJ) decision finding her deportable. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1105a(a) (1988). We affirm the BIA's order and deny the petition.

We review de novo Marquez-Ramirez's claim that she did not make a knowing and intelligent waiver of her right to counsel. See United States v. Villa-Fabela, 882 F.2d 434, 437 (9th Cir. 1989).

Marquez-Ramirez contends that the BIA erred in implying from her silence that she made a knowing and intelligent waiver of her right to counsel. At her deportation hearing, the IJ advised Marquez-Ramirez of her right to obtain counsel of her own choice. The IJ gave her a list of local attorneys and agencies who would represent her at reduced or no expense and offered her a continuance if she wished to obtain counsel. She declined and otherwise failed to indicate whether she wanted an attorney.1 

We therefore uphold the BIA's determination that Marquez-Ramirez waived her right to counsel at her deportation hearing because the immigration judge " [took] all the steps legally necessary to ensure that [petitioner's] waiver of the right to counsel was knowing and intelligent" See Villa-Fabela, 882 F.2d at 438.

Marquez-Ramirez also contends that the IJ erred in failing to notify her of her right to apply for relief from deportation. The Attorney General may grant voluntary departure if the alien can depart at his own expense. See 8 U.S.C. § 1254(e) (1988). Asylum is available only for aliens demonstrating a "well-founded fear" of persecution. Cardoza-Fonseca v. INS, 767 F.2d 1448, 1451 (9th Cir. 1985). "Notice of the right to apply for asylum is required only where the [IJ], rather than the alien, designates the country to which the alien will be deported." Duran v. INS, 756 F.2d 1338, 1341 (9th Cir. 1985). Marquez-Ramirez designated Guatemala as her country of deportation. She testified that she did not fear returning to Guatemala but that she could not pay for the return herself. Thus, the IJ was not required to give her notice because Marquez-Ramirez designated Guatemala as her country of deportation, see 8 C.F.R. Sec. 242.17(c); Duran, 756 F.2d at 1341, and because her eligibility for relief from deportation was not apparent. See Ramirez-Gonzalez v. INS, 695 F.2d 1208, 1212 (9th Cir. 1983).

Finally, Marquez-Ramirez contends that the BIA erred in summarily dismissing her appeal because she failed to submit a written brief. The BIA expressly found that Marquez-Ramirez: (1) had failed to apply for asylum; (2) had waived her right to counsel; and (3) was not entitled to notice that she could apply for relief from deportation because she designated Guatemala as her country of deportation and testified that she had no fear of returning to her country. Although the BIA noted at the end of its order that Marquez-Ramirez had failed to provide facts or circumstances on which to base her request for relief, a review of the order demonstrates that the BIA dismissed her appeal on the merits.



The panel unanimously finds this case suitable for disposition without oral argument. Fed. R. App. P. 34(a); 9th Cir.R. 34-4


This disposition is not appropriate for publication and may not be cited to or by the courts of this circuit except as provided by 9th Circuit R. 36-3


Marquez-Ramirez appeared at a combined deportation hearing along with twelve or thirteen other aliens. A court interpreter was present to translate the proceedings into Spanish as necessary

The IJ advised the whole group of their right to counsel at the beginning of the hearing. The IJ then specifically instructed that any alien wanting an attorney should raise his or her hand. Marquez-Ramirez failed to do so. The IJ then asked the aliens who did not raise their hands if they wanted to represent themselves. All of those aliens, including Marquez-Ramirez, answered in the affirmative. Throughout this exchange, the IJ repeatedly asked, through the interpreter, whether the aliens understood his statements and questions.