Gomez-Medina v. Holder, No. 10-2246 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Customs and Border Patrol agents stopped petitioner at a New Hampshire checkpoint. She failed to produce valid immigration documents and CBP charged her as a removable alien present in the U.S. without having been admitted or paroled, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(A)(i). More than a year later, she applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and Convention Against Torture protection, claiming that, while living in Colombia, she was on a public bus that was attacked by the Colombian FARC guerillas, who killed five passengers. Petitioner claims to fear that harm to her and her family if she returns to Colombia. During one of several hearings, the IJ directed her to submit a declaration or any documentation detailing her entry into the U.S. and to request fingerprinting. The IJ granted a continuance of over a year. Both petitioner and her counsel failed to comply with any of the outstanding directives by the time for hearing on the merits. Counsel conceded that petitioner had not filed for asylum within the one-year time limit and provided no explanation as to why an exception might apply. The IJ dismissed her claims as abandoned, for failure to comply with outstanding orders. The BIA affirmed. The First Circuit denied review.