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Taveras-Duran v. Holder

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

September 23, 2014

ARIDIO TAVERAS-DURAN, Petitioner,
v.
ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., United States Attorney General, Respondent

PETITION FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS.

Glenn T. Terk, on brief for petitioner.

Stuart F. Delery, Assistant Attorney General, Daniel E. Goldman and Brianne Whelan Cohen, Senior Litigation Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Office of Immigration Litigation, on brief for respondent.

Before Lynch, Chief Judge, Lipez and Howard, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 121

LYNCH, Chief Judge.

Aridio Taveras-Duran, a native and citizen of the Dominican Republic, petitions for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying his motion to reopen removal proceedings in which the BIA had affirmed the Immigration Judge's denial of relief because Taveras-Duran was not credible. The BIA's denial turned on Taveras-Duran's ineligibility to receive the relief he requested because of his failure to depart voluntarily, when given that option. The BIA did not abuse its discretion in denying Taveras-Duran's motion. We deny his petition for review.

I.

Taveras-Duran entered the United States as a tourist on February 27, 2004. On July 16, 2004, he married a United States citizen and thereby obtained permanent resident status on a conditional basis.

On July 27, 2007, Taveras-Duran and his wife filed a Joint Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) concluded that the marriage " was a sham, entered into solely for the

Page 122

purpose of circumventing immigration laws," and terminated Taveras-Duran's status as a conditional permanent resident. USCIS served Taveras-Duran with notice to appear for removal proceedings on December 3, 2008.

Taveras-Duran and his wife divorced on November 6, 2009. On November 30, 2009, Taveras-Duran applied for a waiver of the joint petition requirement under section 216(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1186a(c)(4), by which the conditional basis of his prior permanent resident status could be lifted if he had entered into a qualifying marriage in good faith, but the marriage had subsequently ended. USCIS denied Taveras-Duran's application since he failed to submit any credible evidence or testimony that the marriage was entered into in good faith.

On April 16, 2012, the Immigration Judge (IJ) reviewed and denied Taveras-Duran's application for a good faith waiver. The IJ made an adverse credibility determination and concluded that Taveras-Duran's marriage was not entered into in good faith, as required for the waiver. The IJ granted Taveras-Duran thirty days for voluntary departure. In the decision, the IJ expressly warned him that " failure to voluntarily depart the United States within the time period specified by the Court . . . shall make ...


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