Sanchez v. Holder, No. 13-2653 (7th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Sanchez, a citizen of El Salvador, entered the U.S. without inspection in 1989. Sanchez is now 47, married to a lawful permanent resident, and has four children, all U.S. citizens. Sanchez sought asylum and withholding of removal and applied for special rule cancellation of removal under the Nicaraguan Adjustment & Central American Relief Act (NACARA), 111 Stat. 2160, 2644 and under 8 U.S.C. 1229b(b), based on exceptional hardship to his children. While removal proceedings were pending, the government submitted evidence that Sanchez was not eligible for NACARA relief because he had assisted in the persecution of others while serving in the El Salvador military. Sanchez asked for a continuance. At Sanchez’s next hearing, in August 2009, Sanchez stated that he had been arrested in 2008 for leaving the scene of an accident where serious bodily injury occurred. The government argued that Sanchez’s conduct constituted a crime involving moral turpitude under 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2)(A)(i). Sanchez submitted a docket sheet showing that he was charged with a Class D felony, although the court entered the conviction as a misdemeanor and imposed a sentence of 365 days in jail with 363 days suspended. Sanchez claimed that, because of weather conditions, he thought that he had merely hit “a post or a small object” and only learned that he had hit a person when police arrived at his residence the next day. The IJ ordered removal; the BIA dismissed an appeal. The Seventh Circuit remanded, stating that the Board did not properly conduct the three-step inquiry prescribed in Matter of Silva-Trevino.