Maxime P. Blanc v. U.S. Attorney General

USCA11 Case: 19-12508 Date Filed: 05/11/2021 Page: 1 of 16 [PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ________________________ No. 19-12508 ________________________ Agency No. A043-837-330 MAXIME P. BLANC, Petitioner, versus UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent. ________________________ Petition for Review of a Decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals ________________________ (May 11, 2021) Before WILSON, GRANT, and TJOFLAT, Circuit Judges. GRANT, Circuit Judge: Maxime Blanc, a lawful permanent resident of the United States, was charged with removability after he was twice convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude. During the removal proceedings, the immigration judge failed to inform USCA11 Case: 19-12508 Date Filed: 05/11/2021 Page: 2 of 16 Blanc that he could apply for “preconclusion voluntary departure”—a discretionary form of relief that allows aliens to leave the country at their own expense before removal proceedings conclude. The immigration judge ordered him removed. In the meantime, Blanc learned about preconclusion voluntary departure, and he complained on appeal that, among other things, he had not been informed about this relief when he should have been. The Board of Immigration Appeals upheld his removal. Blanc, who says that he would have applied for preconclusion voluntary departure had he known about it, asks us to vacate his removal order so he can apply for the relief during a new round of removal proceedings. We lack jurisdiction to consider his petition. That is because, exercising its own discretion, the Board decided on appeal that preconclusion voluntary departure was not warranted in Blanc’s case. Crucially, the Board’s decision was within its independent discretion; that is, no matter what the immigration judge would have decided about preconclusion voluntary departure had it been raised, the Board had the authority to enforce its own judgment on the question. And once the Board exercised that judgment and ordered removal, it cut off any jurisdiction we might have had to consider Blanc’s petition. I. Blanc, a native and citizen of Dominica, became a lawful permanent resident of the United States in 1994. But in 2012, he was convicted of two crimes: aggravated identity theft and possession of fifteen or more social security numbers with intent to defraud. He was sentenced to thirty months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. Shortly after beginning supervised release, 2 USCA11 Case: 19-12508 Date Filed: 05/11/2021 Page: 3 of 16 Blanc returned to his old ways; just four years after his first convictions, he was again convicted and sentenced for committing the same identity-fraud crimes. These convictions brought Blanc to the attention of the Department of Homeland Security. In 2018, the Department initiated removal proceedings. The notice to appear for those proceedings charged Blanc with removability under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(ii) for two or more convictions of crimes involving moral turpitude, and under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) for two separate aggravated felony convictions. A few months later, Blanc appeared pro se before an immigration judge. The immigration judge indicated that the hearing was “an initial Master Calendar hearing” for Blanc and fifteen …

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Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals