Martinez Roman v. Garland, No. 20-3476 (2d Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Petitioner a native and citizen of Mexico, sought review of a Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) decision affirming the decision of an Immigration Judge (“IJ”) denying Petitioner’s application for cancellation of removal. Petitioner’s application rested on his assertion that removing him from the United States would cause “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to his three young, U.S.-citizen children, whose mother, Petitioner testified, was unable to care for them. Petitioner sought a brief continuance of the merits proceeding to enable him to present live testimony from an expert and three others regarding his children’s health, the family’s circumstances, and the nature and severity of the hardship that his removal would cause. The IJ denied the requested continuance as well as an alternative request to permit the expert to testify by telephone and then found Petitioner ineligible for cancellation on the ground that he failed to establish the necessary hardship. The Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed.
The Second Circuit granted Petitioner’s petition. The court concluded that the agency abused its discretion in denying the brief continuance that Petitioner sought. The IJ’s denial fell outside the range of permissible decisions because it prevented Petitioner from presenting relevant and material testimony in support of his application with regard to the precise ground on which the BIA ruling turned.