5th Circuit Immigration Law News - U.S. Fifth Circuit
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When an alien is considered for deportation proceedings, it becomes painfully important to identify whether his or her record contains any crimes of moral turpitude.

This means that any criminal conviction which classifies an alien as removable is a battleground in any deportation proceeding, since moral turpitude is truly a legal term of art. But the Fifth Circuit doesn't believe this requires much wondering, since Congress has spoken clearly on the issue.

So in Silva-Trevino v. Holder, why does the court stick to only the record of conviction?

A man who long battled to have his citizenship recognized has finally won in the Fifth Circuit, with the court finding citizenship through his father under Mexican law.

In Saldana Iracheta v. Holder, the Fifth Circuit was called upon to review an order for reinstating an order for removal, one that had been reinstated many times as Saldana had returned over and over to the U.S. from Mexico. However, the Court took the opportunity to review Saldana's claim of U.S. citizenship and lo and behold, found he was a citizen after all!

How did Mexican law convince the Fifth Circuit to come to this conclusion?

Last week, a Louisiana appellate court struck down a state law making it illegal for non-citizens to drive without documents proving they’re legally in the United States. Louisiana’s Third Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that the statute improperly governs an area of law exclusively controlled by the federal government.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down parts of a similar Arizona law last year. While that law made it a misdemeanor for immigrants to drive without documentation, the Louisiana law goes one step further making it a felony offense. The appellate court’s ruling conflicts with a recent First Circuit Court of Appeal decision upholding the “unlawful presence” law.

No Lenience Required for Thrice-Removed Defendant

Rene Valeriano Diaz Sanchez has been removed from the U.S. three times. He thinks that he should get a break on his unlawful reentry sentence for the most recent infraction due to the extenuating circumstances surrounding his return.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees.

10 Years of Lies Undermine 'Good Moral Character' Assertion

The distant past can come back to haunt a naturalization applicant.

To qualify for naturalization, an applicant must demonstrate that he is "a person of good moral character." In a matter of first impression, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that a district court can consider events that precede a naturalization application by more than one year in determining that an applicant could not demonstrate good moral character as a matter of law.

Fifth Circuit Grants Farmers Branch En Banc Rehearing

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments about a Texas town's immigration policy in en banc rehearing on Wednesday.

Farmers Branch adopted Ordinance 2952 in January 2008, requiring housing renters to apply for a residential occupancy license from the city's Building Inspector. Under the ordinance, a non-citizen prospective occupant must provide an identification number establishing his or her lawful presence in the U.S. in order to get an occupancy license.

Court Grants En Banc Rehearing on Farmers Branch Occupancy License

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will once again consider an ordinance requiring an "occupancy license" for prospective renters in a Dallas suburb.

The New Orleans-based court agreed to en banc rehearing of Villas at Parkside Partners v. City of Farmers Branch this week.

CJA Ancillary Matters Don't Include Prior State Conviction Appeals

If Cher could turn back time — if she could find a way — she’d take back those words that hurt you, and you’d stay.

If Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals litigant Juan Garcia could turn back time, he’d take back a guilty plea to cocaine delivery in an Iowa court.

So yeah, Cher and Juan Garcia run in different circles.

How Do You Explain the Green Card Process?

Green card marriages happen. The concept seems cliché when used in movies and television shows, yet there are people who turn to sham unions to get citizenship. But while marriage may be what brings two willing parties together today, it’s not a guaranteed path to citizenship or a green card.

If you have an immigration law practice, you’ve probably fielded hundreds of questions about green cards: Do I have to get hitched to get a green card? Does marrying a citizen guarantee citizenship?

Fifth Circuit Interprets Old Derivative Citizenship Rules Strictly

Congress simplified derivative citizenship laws when the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 became effective. But if you represent a client who turned 18 before the CCA, you have to argue for citizenship under the old rules. It can be complicated, as Patrick Ayton learned this week when he lost his removal appeal in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

To understand why the Fifth Circuit found that Ayton didn't meet the requirements for derivative citizenship, you need a little background information on Ayton.