Shabo v. Sessions, No. 17-3881 (6th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Shabo immigrated to the U.S. in 1985. In 1992, at the age of 25, he was convicted of an aggravated felony: possession with the intent to deliver 50-225 grams of cocaine. He served 60 months of imprisonment. An immigration judge ordered his removal to Iraq based on his conviction for an aggravated felony and a crime relating to a controlled substance. The BIA denied his appeal. Because the Iraqi government was not issuing travel papers, Shabo remained in the U.S. Iraq began issuing travel papers last year. Shabo moved to reopen his 1998 BIA proceedings to seek protection under the Convention Against Torture, claiming that, as a Chaldean Christian, he faces likely torture in Iraq. He concedes that he is deportable under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) and (B)(i). He argued that the circumstances in Iraq have changed considerably since 1997 when the IJ ordered his removal. The BIA found his petition untimely; that the changed-country-conditions exception does not apply to Convention Against Torture applications; and that Shabo had not presented sufficient evidence that he was “more likely than not” to be subject to torture. The Sixth Circuit dismissed his appeal, citing 8 U.S.C. 1252(a)(2)(C): “no court shall have jurisdiction to review any final order of removal against an alien who is removable by reason of having committed a criminal offense covered in section 1182(a)(2) or 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii), (B), (C), or (D)” unless the matter involves constitutional claims or questions of law.