Andre Saunders v. Attorney General United States

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT ___________ No. 21-2696 ___________ ANDRE HUGH SAUNDERS, Petitioner v. ATTORNEY GENERAL UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ____________________________________ On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (Agency No. A062-176-942) Immigration Judge: Emily Farrar-Crockett ____________________________________ Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a) May 9, 2022 Before: GREENAWAY, Jr., PORTER, and NYGAARD, Circuit Judges (Opinion filed: May 24, 2022) ___________ OPINION* ___________ PER CURIAM * This disposition is not an opinion of the full Court and pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7 does not constitute binding precedent. Andre Saunders, proceeding pro se, petitions for review of a final order of removal issued by the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”). For the reasons stated below, we will grant Saunders’ petition. I. Saunders is a native citizen of Jamaica who was admitted to the United Stated as a lawful permanent resident in 2012. She was later convicted in federal court of mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341 and sentenced to 78 months’ incarceration. Based on that conviction, the Department of Homeland Security charged Saunders with being removable for having been convicted of an aggravated felony, see 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii); 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(M), and a crime involving moral turpitude, see 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(i). Saunders, proceeding pro se, appeared before the Immigration Judge (“IJ’), admitted the allegations in the notice to appear, and conceded the charges of removability. She applied for asylum, withholding of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”), contending that she would be harmed if removed because she is a transgender woman and member of the LGBTQI community. Following a hearing, the IJ concluded that Saunders was ineligible for asylum and withholding of removal because of her criminal conviction and found that Saunders’ testimony regarding past harms she suffered in Jamaica was not credible, though the IJ credited Saunders’ testimony that she is transgender and a member of the LGBTQI 2 community. The IJ denied Saunders’ request for deferral of removal under CAT, reasoning that Saunders failed to show that it was more likely than not that she would be tortured by or with the acquiescence of the Jamaican government if she returned to Jamaica. Saunders appealed, challenging the IJ’s credibility determination and denial of relief under CAT. Without reaching the issue of credibility, the BIA affirmed the IJ’s decision based on its analysis of Saunders’ CAT claim. Saunders filed a timely petition for review. II. We have jurisdiction over Saunders’ petition pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(1). We review legal conclusions de novo, Singh v. Att’y Gen., 677 F.3d 503, 508 (3d Cir. 2012), and we review the agency’s findings of fact in this context under the substantial- evidence standard pursuant to which such findings “are conclusive unless any reasonable adjudicator would be compelled to conclude to the contrary.” Nasrallah v. Barr, 140 S. Ct. 1683, 1692 (2020) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). Because …

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