Ecuadorian’s Appeal to Remain in U.S. Denied

Immigrant José Enríque Peralta was denied his request to stay in the U.S. by the United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit.

A native and citizen of Ecuador who had lied about a previous conviction and incarceration was denied continued residence in the United States despite his recent marriage to a U.S. citizen. José Enríque Peralta filed a series of petitions before the court culminating in the May 28, 2009, decision. It was a convoluted route to eventual deportation for Mr. Peralta.

The last step on his journey was actually a request for judicial review of the final order of The Board of Immigration Appeals dated July 24, 2008, which had denied his second motion to reopen removal proceedings.

Mr. Peralta’s personal saga began a decade earlier, when he entered the United States illegally. In July of 2003, he obtained lawful permanent resident status based on his marriage to a U.S. citizen. The Department of Homeland Security later learned that when he’d applied for permanent resident status, he’d neglected to disclose, either on his application or at his interview, that he’d been convicted on January 8, 2002, of assault and battery, and received an 18-month prison sentence. On that basis, DHS charged that the petitioner was subject to removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1227 (a) (1) (A).

The judge ruled from the bench that the petitioner had knowingly and willfully furnished false information in connection with his application. He appealed that decision, and that appeal was affirmed by the BIA, although Peralta did not seek judicial review of the BIA’s decision. On December 22, 2005, well after the period for seeking judicial review had expired, he filed another motion to reopen the removal proceedings based on his pending I-130 visa petition noting he had divorced his first American wife in the spring of 2005, and married another woman (also a U.S. citizen) on August 20, 2005.

The next year when the previous motion was reviewed, he again stated that he’d never been convicted of a crime. This statement by itself justified the motion’s denial.

Several motions later, the final May 28, 2009, outcome was all but certain. Mr. Peralta was last known to be living in a suburb of Quito, Ecuador.

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