LUIS PEREZ-CAMACHO V. MERRICK GARLAND, No. 19-72063 (9th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Petitioner, a lawful permanent resident, was ordered removed based on a 1997 conviction. He then filed a motion to reopen, which was denied. In 2018, he filed a second motion to reopen, claiming that he was no longer removable as charged because a state court, in 2018, had modified his conviction due to a “constitutional defect” in his criminal proceeding. Petitioner argued that his removal order was invalid, and therefore, the BIA should reopen proceedings, set aside his removal order, and terminate proceedings. The BIA denied the motion as both number barred and time-barred.
Denying in part and dismissing in part Petitioner’s petition for review, the Ninth Circuit concluded that the BIA did not err in denying Petitioner’s motion to reopen, which challenged his removal order on the ground that his underlying conviction was allegedly invalid. The court concluded that none of the circumstances in which an alien may challenge a removal order based on the claim that a conviction underlying a removal order is invalid were applicable here.
The court also concluded that the BIA did not abuse its discretion in deciding that equitable tolling of the time and number bar was not available to Petitioner, explaining that he waited 21 years to seek a modification of his conviction, provided no basis as to his reasonable efforts to pursue relief during that period, and provided no explanation for such an exceedingly long delay. Finally, the court concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to consider whether the BIA erred in denying Petitioner’s request to sua sponte reopen proceedings.