Angel Paris-Mendez v. William Barr

NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS MAY 20 2020 MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT ANGEL PARIS-MENDEZ, No. 17-72290 Petitioner, Agency No. A205-150-737 v. MEMORANDUM* WILLIAM P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Submitted May 15, 2020** San Francisco, California Before: FRIEDLAND and BENNETT, Circuit Judges, and RAKOFF,*** District Judge. Angel Paris-Mendez, a native and citizen of Mexico, petitions for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) denying his motion to * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. ** The panel unanimously concludes this case is suitable for decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2). ** The Honorable Jed S. Rakoff, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, sitting by designation. remand and affirming a denial by the Immigration Judge (“IJ”) of his motion for a continuance, his application for asylum and statutory withholding of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act, and his application for protection under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We grant the petition with respect to the BIA’s denial of the petitioner’s motion to remand, but deny it in all other respects. To begin with, we affirm the BIA’s holding that the IJ did not abuse his discretion in denying the petitioner’s motion for a continuance. Both reasons that the petitioner proffered to establish “good cause” for a continuance fail. 8 C.F.R. § 1003.29. First, his counsel decided not to prepare for an individualized hearing on September 20, 2016 until a few days prior, when she had five months to do so. Clearly, this did not justify a continuance. Her failure to prepare, moreover, was based on an unsupported and uncorroborated assumption that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would administratively close the case.1 Second, with respect 1 The record contradicts the petitioner’s counsel’s assertion that “the available court records and minutes prior to September 20, 2016 did not indicate that Petitioner was incarcerated for more than 90 days,” which disqualified the petitioner from administrative closure. As one example among many, the IJ’s written decision from the removal hearing on December 16, 2013 states: “although the respondent was apparently sentenced to 180 days in prison, he indicated in his testimony that he was released early, after having served 4.5 months.” Moreover, in the motion that the petitioner’s counsel filed on behalf of her client to reopen the case on November 30, 2015, she herself wrote that her client’s “arrest only resulted 2 to the assertion that the petitioner’s counsel learned for the first time on the morning of the hearing that the petitioner identified himself as a Jehovah’s Witness and that he allegedly suffered persecution in Mexico because of his religion, it is puzzling that the petitioner’s counsel was so informed at the last ...

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