El-Gazawy v. Holder, No. 11-3582 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
El-Gazawy a citizen of Jordan, entered the U.S. in 1990 as a non-immigrant, overstayed, and failed to appear for special registration in 2003, required by the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System program. In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security served notice that he was removable under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(1)(B); 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(3)(A) and 1305. At his hearing, El-Gazawy admitted the charges and stated that he would seek cancellation of removal (8 U.S.C. 1229b(b)) or voluntary departure (8 U.S.C. 1229c). The IJ allowed 90 days for the necessary paperwork and advised that failing to timely file fingerprints could result in denial of relief. With an additional schedule change, El-Gazawy had about 14 months to file the necessary paperwork. The IJ concluded that no good cause had been demonstrated for delay, deemed the cancellation claim abandoned, and granted voluntary departure. The BIA dismissed an appeal. El-Gazawy had been represented by attorney Abuzir throughout, but obtained new counsel for filing a motion to reopen, seven months later, arguing ineffective assistance of counsel. El-Gazawy claimed that he had given notice to Abuzir and had filed a claim with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. The BIA denied his motions. The Seventh Circuit denied a petition for review.