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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lizama v. Holder, 09-2027

Petition for review BIA's denial of El Salvadoran's application for asylum and related relief

Lizama v. Holder, 09-2027, concerned an El Salvadoran's petition for review of a BIA's denial of his application for asylum and related relief.  The court dismissed petitioner's claim that the BIA erred in holding his asylum application to be untimely for lack of jurisdiction.  The court held that the finding that petitioner's purported group is not a "particular social group" for purposes of asylum is consistent with the applicable legal standards and supported by substantial evidence.  Lastly, the court held that substantial evidence supports the BIA's decision denying CAT relief as petitioner failed to establish that he will more likely than not be tortured if removed to El Salvador.

Related Link:

Cody v. Caterisano, 09-2166

Denial of attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act

Cody v. Caterisano, 09-2166, concerned an Irish national's petition for attorneys' fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act, arguing that the Government's position was not substantially justified because United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was required to adjudicate his application within 120 days under 8 U.S.C. section 1447(b) and 8 C.F.R. section 310.5(a), and that USCIS was obligated to accept the Navy's Form N-426 certification as conclusive evidence that he served on active-duty status.