Nelson Osmin Tejada-Palacios v. U.S. Attorney General

USCA11 Case: 21-11717 Date Filed: 01/19/2022 Page: 1 of 6 [DO NOT PUBLISH] In the United States Court of Appeals For the Eleventh Circuit ____________________ No. 21-11717 Non-Argument Calendar ____________________ NELSON OSMIN TEJADA-PALACIOS, Petitioner, versus U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent. ____________________ Petition for Review of a Decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals Agency No. A088-928-610 ____________________ USCA11 Case: 21-11717 Date Filed: 01/19/2022 Page: 2 of 6 2 Opinion of the Court 21-11717 Before LUCK, LAGOA, and BRASHER, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: Nelson Osmin Tejada-Palacios seeks review of an order by the Board of Immigration Appeals denying his motion to reopen his cancellation of removal proceedings. The BIA determined that his motion was time- and number-barred under 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(c)(7). But Tejada-Palacios argues that he was entitled to eq- uitable tolling of these requirements because he had only recently realized that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. How- ever, the record indicates that he could have raised this argument much earlier. Thus, the BIA did not abuse its discretion in conclud- ing that he had not pursued his rights diligently and that equitable tolling was therefore not warranted. We accordingly deny Tejada- Palacios’s petition for review. I. In 2010, an immigration judge denied Tejada-Palacios’s ap- plications for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture, and ordered him removed to his home country of El Salvador. Proceeding pro se, Tejada-Palacios appealed that order, which the BIA affirmed. Tejada-Palacios then retained the services of an immigration consultant—who was not an attorney—to prepare a pro se motion for reconsideration, which the BIA denied. Over the ensuing years, the immigration consultant assisted Tejada-Palacios in filing USCA11 Case: 21-11717 Date Filed: 01/19/2022 Page: 3 of 6 21-11717 Opinion of the Court 3 several motions to reopen his cancellation of removal proceedings, all of which the BIA denied. Tejada-Palacios identified himself as appearing “pro se” or “pro per” in each of these motions. Yet Tejada-Palacios alleges that he did not discover that the immigra- tion consultant was not an attorney until he was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in January 2019. The next month, Tejada-Palacios filed the motion to reopen that is the subject of this appeal. He argued that the consultant ren- dered ineffective assistance by holding himself out as an attorney and carelessly filing an unreasonable number of motions, which constituted an exceptional circumstance warranting reopening of his proceedings. He also argued that he was entitled to equitable tolling of the statutory requirements for his motion because he had only recently discovered that the consultant was not an attorney. He alternatively argued that the BIA should exercise its sua sponte authority to reopen his proceedings. The BIA denied this motion, concluding that it failed to meet the time and number requirements in 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(c)(7). It fur- ther reasoned that Tejada-Palacios was not entitled to equitable tolling because he had not pursued his rights diligently. It also de- termined that he was not prejudiced by the …

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