Louis Akrawi v. Merrick Garland

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PUBLICATION File Name: 22a0356n.06 No. 19-3896 FILED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS Aug 25, 2022 FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk ) LOUIS J. AKRAWI, ) Petitioner, ) ) ON PETITION FOR REVIEW FROM v. ) THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION ) APPEALS MERRICK B. GARLAND, Attorney General, ) ) OPINION Respondent. ) Before: BATCHELDER, WHITE, and BUSH, Circuit Judges. BATCHELDER, J., delivered the opinion of the court in which BUSH, J., joined, and WHITE, J., joined in part. WHITE, J. (pp. 17–23), delivered a separate opinion dissenting in part. ALICE M. BATCHELDER, Circuit Judge. Petitioner Louis Akrawi, a native of Iraq, petitions for review of the dismissal of his appeal by the Board of Immigration Appeals, in which he challenged the Immigration Judge’s denial of his application for deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture. Akrawi argues that he has established that it is more likely than not that he will be tortured upon his arrival in Iraq, that the Board of Immigration Appeals committed legal error by denying him relief, and further, that it abused its discretion by denying his motion to remand to consider new evidence. We disagree and DENY his petition for review. I. A. Akrawi is Ordered to be Removed to Iraq In 1965, Louis Akrawi, an Iraqi Christian and political oppositionist, fled to the United States from Iraq. In 1969, he was admitted to the United States as a refugee. But Akrawi abused No. 19-3896, Akrawi v. Garland his good fortune. In 1979 and 1981, the State of Michigan convicted Akrawi of malicious destruction of property and attempted aggravated assault. In 1989, because of his criminal convictions, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS”) initiated removal proceedings against him. However, Akrawi was not removed, nor was he done with his life of crime. In 1996, the State of Michigan convicted Akrawi again, this time for second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit assault, assault, and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Akrawi was sentenced and sent to state prison in Michigan, with an expected early release date of February 28, 2011. Consequently, the Immigration Judge (“IJ”) closed Akrawi’s removal proceedings. Fast forward to 2008. As Akrawi’s expected early release date drew nearer, the INS sought to reopen his case, add more removal charges for his 1996 convictions, and reinitiate removal proceedings. The IJ obliged and reopened Akrawi’s case. At the subsequent hearings, Akrawi, without the assistance of counsel, announced that he would not seek deferral of removal, acknowledged that he wanted the IJ to order his removal, and waived his right to appeal. On March 24, 2009, the IJ ordered Akrawi to be removed to Iraq. B. Akrawi Seeks Deferral of Removal under the Convention Against Torture Akrawi was eventually released from prison in 2017 and shortly thereafter, the Department of Homeland Security detained him. Akrawi, this time assisted by counsel, filed an emergency motion to reopen removal proceedings based on changed country conditions in Iraq. Akrawi sought …

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