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Immigration — cancellation of removal

United States Court of Appeals


Immigration — cancellation of removal

A decision to deny cancellation of removal for lack of good moral character is not subject to judicial review.

“‘Good moral character’ is a statutory requirement— that is, a condition of eligibility—for cancellation of removal. But the Immigration and Nationality Act does not define ‘good moral character.’ Hence the decision whether an alien has the required character reflects an exercise of administrative discretion. That’s one holding of Muratoski. See 622 F.3d at 831. Neither the immigration judge nor the Board compared Portillo-Rendon’s driving record against a rule. For the purpose of §1252(a)(2)(D), ‘law’ means a dispute about the meaning of a legal text, so that the alien wins if the text means one thing and loses if it means something else. See Cevilla v. Gonzales, 446 F.3d 658 (7th Cir. 2006); Jiménez Viracacha v. Mukasey, 518 F.3d 511, 514–16 (7th Cir. 2008) (explaining that eight circuits agree with Cevilla, and only the ninth circuit does not). There is no dispute about a controlling text here; there is only a (potential) dispute about whether Portillo-Rendon’s driving infractions are serious and frequent enough to show that he lacks good moral character, as opposed to making isolated mistakes. The IJ and BIA thought that this record shows poor moral fiber; that is a discretionary call and thus is not subject to judicial review.”

Petition Dismissed.

11-1642 Portillo-Rendon v. Holder

Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals, Easterbrook, J.

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