Martinez-Baez v. Wilkinson, No. 20-1078 (7th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Martinez-Baez, born in Mexico in 1980, claims that he unlawfully crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in 2000. The exact dates of his entries are unclear. Border agents returned him to Mexico three times in June 2000. Martinez-Baez claims that after his third return, he immediately re-entered and began working at a plastics factory. He filed his first federal tax return was in 2002. Martinez-Baez has three U.S.-citizen children. His daughter, born in 2012, has speech and language impairments that make it difficult for her to communicate.
Martinez-Baez's Notice to Appear, dated April 2011, charged that he was removable under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(6)(A)(i). Martinez-Baez sought cancellation of removal, 8 U.S.C. 1229b. Cancellation is possible but discretionary, if the noncitizen has been physically present in the U.S. for a continuous period of not less than 10 years, has been a person of good moral character, has not been convicted of a specified offense, and establishes that removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a spouse, parent, or child, who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. The IJ denied relief, holding that Martinez-Baez had failed to establish his continuous presence and hardship The BIA affirmed. The Seventh Circuit remanded. The IJ erred procedurally by failing to resolve whether Martinez-Baez’s testimony about the most important fact—his date of entry—was credible. The IJ and Board mischaracterized the evidence pertaining to the asserted hardship.