Meza v. Garland, No. 20-2193 (7th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Meza, a citizen of Mexico, entered the U.S. without being formally admitted or paroled in 1996, when he was nine years old. He has remained in this country ever since. He is married to another Mexican native, with whom he has five U.S.-citizen children. Meza’s parents also reside in the U.S. and have lawful permanent resident status. Around 2012, DHS initiated removal proceedings against him under 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(A)(i). Meza applied for discretionary cancellation of removal under section 1229b(b), arguing that his removal would create exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to his parents and his U.S.- citizen children.
While his removal proceedings were pending, Meza was convicted of DUI. He collided with another vehicle. No one was injured, but the incident caused $5,000 in damage to the other car. Meza later pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle without a license and to operating a motor vehicle without insurance. He later pleaded guilty to failing to install an ignition interlock on his vehicle. Meza admitted that he used a fabricated social security number to obtain employment, 2003-2015. The BIA and Seventh Circuit upheld an IJ’s determination that Meza was ineligible for cancellation because he had failed to establish that he was a person of “good moral character.”