Hernandez-Alvarez v. Barr, No. 20-1459 (7th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Mexican citizen Hernandez-Alvarez was a permanent U.S. resident when, in 2002, he was convicted of indecent solicitation of a child. DHS initiated removal on the grounds that his conviction constituted an aggravated felony. Hernandez-Alvarez argued that the conviction did not qualify as an aggravated felony. He was removed before the Board of Immigration Appeals acted on his motion for reconsideration. The Board determined that his removal constituted a withdrawal of that motion. Fifteen years later, Hernandez-Alvarez moved for reconsideration and reopening, citing two Supreme Court decisions: Esquivel-Quintana (2017), and Pereira (2018). He argued that his motion was timely because it merited equitable tolling; alternatively, he requested that the Board invoke its authority to reopen his proceedings sua sponte. The Board concluded that equitable tolling was not warranted because Hernandez-Alvarez failed to show due diligence; it rejected his argument based on Pereira that the IJ did not have jurisdiction over his removal proceedings and declined to exercise its power to reopen the proceedings sua sponte.
The Seventh Circuit denied his petition for review. Hernandez-Alvarez failed to exhaust his remedies before the Board for his argument that his 2019 motion is timely because it relates back to his 2004 motion. Hernandez-Alvarez did not diligently pursue his rights in the two years following the Esquivel-Quintana holding that a conviction under a state statute criminalizing consensual sexual intercourse between a 21-year-old and a 17-year-old does not qualify as sexual abuse of a minor under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Board did not commit legal error in declining to reopen his proceedings.