Raad Al-Masaudi v. Merrick Garland

United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth Circuit ___________________________ No. 21-2166 ___________________________ Raad Al-Masaudi, lllllllllllllllllllllPetitioner, v. Merrick B. Garland, Attorney General of the United States, lllllllllllllllllllllRespondent. ____________ Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals ____________ Submitted: May 11, 2022 Filed: August 15, 2022 ____________ Before COLLOTON, WOLLMAN, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges. ____________ COLLOTON, Circuit Judge. Raad Al-Masaudi petitions for review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals denying his application for relief from removal to Iraq. We conclude that there is no basis to set aside the decision of the Board, and deny the petition for review. I. Al-Masaudi is a native and citizen of Iraq. He was admitted to the United States as a refugee in 1997 and adjusted his status to lawful permanent resident in 2008. In 2015, Al-Masaudi pleaded no contest in Nebraska to committing negligent child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury to his six-month-old son. See Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-707(1), (5). In 2019, the Department of Homeland Security charged that Al-Masaudi was subject to removal from the United States under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(E)(i), based on a conviction for a crime of child abuse. Al-Masaudi moved to terminate the removal proceedings, arguing that his offense of conviction is not a crime of child abuse. The immigration judge (IJ) denied his motion. Al-Masaudi then applied for cancellation of removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a), asylum under 8 U.S.C. § 1158, withholding of removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3), and withholding and deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture, 8 C.F.R. §§ 1208.16(c), 1208.17(a). After a hearing, the IJ denied relief. The IJ concluded that Al-Masaudi’s conviction was for a “particularly serious crime” under immigration law, and that he was therefore ineligible for asylum or withholding of removal. Based on the nature and circumstances of his offense, the IJ denied his application for cancellation of removal as a matter of discretion. The IJ denied the application for deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture because Al-Masaudi had not established that it was more likely than not that he would be tortured if removed to Iraq. The Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed an administrative appeal. The Board concluded that the Nebraska offense is categorically a crime of child abuse and that Al-Masaudi was convicted of a “particularly serious crime.” The Board also -2- rejected Al-Masaudi’s contention that the IJ erred by considering newspaper articles in support of her ruling, and otherwise upheld the IJ’s denial of relief. II. A. Al-Masaudi first challenges the Board’s conclusion that he is removable under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(E)(i) as an alien convicted of a crime of child abuse. Congress did not define “crime of child abuse,” but the Board has defined the term in a series of precedential decisions, and Al-Masaudi does not challenge the agency’s definition. The Board interprets “crime of child abuse” to mean “any offense involving an intentional, knowing, reckless, or criminally negligent act or omission that constitutes …

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