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Deportation Case Ruling: Knowledge of Almost Certain Torture Isn't Deliberate

The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reviewed a deportation case that implicated the proper interpretation and application of the International Treaty of the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The case is an interesting highlight into the limitations of the CAT.

The appeals court found that almost certain knowledge by a state actor who detains a deported felon (from the United States) that the detainee might suffer severe pain and suffering does not rise to the level of "specific intent" under CAT -- thereby not affording such persons protection under the treaty.

Richard Jesus Amos, an immigrant from the Philippines, committed a sexual crime against a minor. After he served his punishment for the crime, the Department of Homeland Security came knocking.

Since the Attorney General has the power to remove any alien "who is convicted of an aggravated felony," the immigration judge heard a strong case against Amos. As might be expected, the judge ordered Amos to be removed and denied motions for reconsideration. When the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissed Amos' appeal, he brought the case to the Fourth Circuit.

4th Cir.: Trafficked Domestic Worker's Lawsuit Not Time-Barred

When Cristina Cruz left the Philippines to come to the United States, she thought she was getting a great opportunity. A friend told her that she could work for Nilda Maypa, a World Bank employee. So Cruz got the job and came to the United States. Her employment contract seemed solid: $6.50 an hour, 35 to 40 hours a week, plus medical insurance.

What she got was entirely different. Maypa paid her $250 a month -- that's a little over $8 a day -- required her to work 17 to 18 hours a day, seven days a week, cook, clean, take care of the kids, clean the pool, mow the lawn ... and on and on.

Not Registering as Sex Offender Isn't 'Moral Turpitude': 4th Cir.

Being a sex offender is probably a crime of moral turpitude, right? What about the acting of failing to register as a sex offender? The U.S. government thought so; that's why it initiated deportation proceedings against Khalid Mohamed, a citizen of Sudan. Mohamed was convicted of sexual battery in 2010, and in 2011, he failed to register as a sex offender. Finding these to be a conviction for "two or more crimes involving moral turpitude," the government said he had to go, and the Board of Immigration Appeals agreed.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals wasn't so convinced. It ordered Mohamed released on September 29, and provided the reasoning for its order in an opinion released October 17.

Can't Stop Illegal Immigrants For No Reason

She was eating a sandwich while sitting on a curb, waiting for her shift to start. Roxanna Orellana Santos was eating a freaking sandwich.

Meanwhile, two astute officers, patrolling for wretched criminals, stopped her and asked her for her identification. She initially told them that she lacked an ID, but later found a copy of her El Salvadorian national ID. She was then detained, on the curb, while the officers checked for, and found, a civil immigration warrant that called for her immediate deportation.

Immigration Asylum Denied: Peru is Over the Whole Torture Thing

When Dario Suarez-Valenzuela (DSV) appeared on a Peruvian talk show in 1997, he was promised compensation by the show's investigator, Jason, and the show's host, Lara Bazzo. He was never paid, and together with Jason, he confronted Bazzo and threatened to report her to a rival station.

As the old saying goes, snitches get stitches. Four men with badges, identifying themselves police officers, approached the men to intimidate them. Officer Luis pistol-whipped Jason, who subsequently died. He also shot DSV in the foot.

After agreeing to testify against Luis, DSV was stabbed. He then fled the country for the U.S. Luis served three months in prison for the murder. He followed that up by trashing DSV's parents' residences and continuing to pay them visits until 2008.

Illegal Immigrants Don't Have Second Amendment Rights

Illegal immigrants don't have a right to bear arms, according to a recent Fourth Circuit decision.

The Richmond-based appellate court sided with its sister circuits last week, finding that Second Amendment rights are reserved for those who abide by the law.

For 50 Cents a Month, You Too Can Materially Support Terrorism!

In light of the upcoming holiday, it is important to take a moment and express thanks for things that bring us joy. Today, this blogger is thankful for unintentionally hilarious court opinions.

Adriano de Almeda Viegas is, according to the Fourth Circuit, a member of, and provided financial support to, a terrorist organization. He also entered the country using a forged French passport. It is unsurprising then that he is being sent back to Angola, his native country.

Real Recognize REAL: 4th Circuit Uses REAL ID Credibility Standard

What's the measure of a man's credibility? Prior to the implementation of the REAL ID Act in 2005, a person's credibility in an INS hearing was based only on statements that went to the heart of the matter. This meant when the applicant or witness complimented your tie, or fudged their age or weight, it only mattered if it was innately related to the applicant's claim.

The REAL ID Act follows the hip hop credo of "real recognizes real." Whether a person is dishonest about tangential matters or the crux of the claim, a liar is a liar, at least according to the new standard . The Fourth Circuit labeled this as "common sense" when it adopted it in this week's decision in Singh v. Holder. They also noted that the First, Second, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits have all adopted the new standard as well.

Asylum Appeals Aren't Easy to Win in Fourth Circuit

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals hasn't issued a published opinion in weeks. As constant followers of the 4th, we're a little bitter about this.

We could obsess about the circuit calendar and oral arguments that might produce published opinions, but that's what we did yesterday. Today, we're turning to one of the circuit's recent, unpublished opinions to catch a glimpse of the kinds of issues that are capturing the court's attention.