Eduardo Adame-Hernandez v. William P. Barr

United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth Circuit ___________________________ No. 17-3668 ___________________________ Eduardo Adame-Hernandez lllllllllllllllllllllPetitioner v. William P. Barr, Attorney General of the United States lllllllllllllllllllllRespondent ____________ Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals ____________ Submitted: May 15, 2019 Filed: July 16, 2019 ____________ Before COLLOTON, MELLOY, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges. ____________ SHEPHERD, Circuit Judge. Eduardo Adame-Hernandez, a native and citizen of Mexico, petitions for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) upholding the decision of an immigration judge (IJ) concluding that Adame-Hernandez was ineligible for cancellation of removal because of a prior conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude and because Adame-Hernandez lacked the requisite moral character. Having jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252, we deny the petition. In 1994, Adame-Hernandez entered the United States near El Paso, Texas without being admitted or paroled and without inspection. In June 2009, he pled guilty in Nebraska state court to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and false reporting. The next month, Adame-Hernandez pled guilty, again in Nebraska state court, to two more charges of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and false reporting. Adame-Hernandez was subsequently served with a Notice to Appear, charging him with removability. Through counsel, Adame-Hernandez admitted the factual allegations in the Notice to Appear, conceded removability, and designated Mexico as the country of removal. Adame-Hernandez then filed an application for cancellation of removal, which the IJ denied. The IJ concluded that, based on his convictions for false reporting, Adame-Hernandez was statutorily ineligible for cancellation of removal, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1229b. The IJ examined the statute of conviction, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28- 907, and determined that at least one of Adame-Hernandez’s convictions was under subsection (1)(a), which included an explicit element of intent to deceive, rendering the crime categorically one involving moral turpitude. Based on this conclusion, the IJ determined that Adame-Hernandez was ineligible for cancellation of removal because his conviction both barred a finding of good moral character and was a statutorily specified offense that barred cancellation. Adame-Hernandez appealed to the BIA. The BIA affirmed the IJ, similarly concluding that his false reporting convictions were categorically crimes involving moral turpitude and rendered him statutorily ineligible for cancellation of removal. This petition for review followed, with Adame-Hernandez again arguing that his convictions for false reporting under Nebraska law do not qualify as crimes involving moral turpitude. “Although we lack jurisdiction to review the ultimately discretionary denial of cancellation of removal, 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(B), we are not precluded from considering constitutional claims or questions of law raised upon a petition for review, § 1252(a)(2)(D).” Miranda-Romero v. Lynch, 797 F.3d 524, 525 (8th Cir. -2- 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted). We conduct de novo review of constitutional claims or questions of law, “according substantial deference to the agency’s interpretation of immigration statutes and regulations.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). “The Immigration and Nationality Act provides that an alien who is convicted ...

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