Devang Patel v. Attorney General United States

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT ____________ No. 20-3555 ____________ DEVANG SURESHBHAI PATEL, Petitioner v. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ____________ On Petition for Review of a Decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (A204-538-832) Immigration Judge: John B. Carle ____________ Submitted Under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) (November 8, 2021) Before: HARDIMAN, MATEY, and SCIRICA, Circuit Judges. (Filed: November 26, 2021) ___________ OPINION * ____________ * This disposition is not an opinion of the full Court and pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7 does not constitute binding precedent. HARDIMAN, Circuit Judge. Devang Patel petitions for review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals denying his motions to reopen and to reconsider. We will deny the petition. I A native and citizen of India, Patel was admitted into the United States at Chicago, Illinois in 2008 on an H-1B visa. His visa expired on September 30, 2009, but he remained in the United States illegally. In 2019, the Department of Homeland Security sought to remove Patel from the country, after he was convicted of three state crimes: theft by unlawful taking, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3921(a); receipt of stolen property, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3925(a); and conspiracy to commit theft by unlawful taking, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 903. At a hearing before an immigration judge, Patel’s counsel conceded the crimes involved moral turpitude (CIMTs), which made Patel ineligible for discretionary relief. See 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2). Nevertheless, Patel applied for cancellation of removal and adjustment of status. The IJ pretermitted Patel’s application for cancellation, but continued the hearing to give Patel a chance to apply for asylum. Patel ultimately filed an I-589 and proceeded to a hearing on the merits of his “fear-based claim,” despite his counsel’s continued focus on cancellation of removal. A.R. 309–10. The IJ found Patel credible but denied his applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture, ordering him removed to India. Beyond noting that Patel was ineligible for cancellation of removal because of his CIMT convictions, the IJ found Patel’s asylum application untimely and not subject to an exception. The IJ concluded that the harm Patel suffered and feared in India was based on 2 personal matters unrelated to his religion or any other protected ground, and that his CAT claims were too speculative. 1 The IJ also noted that Patel’s case was “woefully uncorroborated.” A.R. 355. In May 2020, Patel appealed pro se, challenging only the BIA’s decision denying his application for cancellation of removal. A month later, Patel’s new counsel filed two motions: (1) a motion with the BIA to reopen his removal proceedings based on ineffective assistance of his prior counsel and new evidence; and (2) a motion to reconsider its decision affirming the IJ’s order of removal. The BIA denied both motions. This timely petition for review followed. II We have jurisdiction to review the BIA’s decision denying the motion to reopen and the motion to …

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