Villanueva v. Holder, No. 14-1217 (1st Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Petitioner, a native of El Salvador living in the United States, was charged with removability. Petitioner sought relief from removal by requesting review of an earlier denial of his application for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under 8 U.S.C. 1254a, which affords undocumented immigrants protection from removal upon a determination that conditions in the individual’s home country prevent his safe return. A non-citizen is ineligible for TPS, however, if he has been convicted of an “aggravated felony.” The immigration judge (IJ) denied Petitioner’s application for TPS on the ground that he had a 2006 conviction for third-degree assault under Connecticut law. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed the IJ’s ruling. Petitioner petitioned for review, arguing that the BIA erred in finding that his 2006 conviction constituted a “crime of violence” and therefore an “aggravated felony.” The First Circuit vacated the BIA’s decision and remanded, holding that Petitioner’s conviction did not render him ineligible for TPS. Remanded.