Arbid v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 04-03-2012
  • Case #: 09-73211
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam; Circuit Judges Graber and Tallman, and Senior District Judge Timlin
  • Full Text Opinion

Where an immigration judge finds that an alien committed a “particularly serious crime” based on the Frentescu factors, that alien will be ineligible for asylum or withholding of removal pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3)(B)(ii). Further, where there has been a favorable change in the foreign country’s political regime, the alien will be ineligible for deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture, 8 C.F.R. § 1208.17(a).

Khalil-Salim Arbid, a Lebanese national, illegally entered the United States in 2000. The immigration judge (“IJ”) granted Arbid asylum based on a well-founded fear of prosecution for his political beliefs. In 2008, Arbid pled guilty to mail fraud and was sentenced to sixteen months in prison and ordered to pay $650,000 in restitution. Following Arbid’s release, the Department of Homeland Security moved to reopen removal proceedings based on Arbid having committed a particularly serious crime. At hearing, to determine the seriousness of the crime the IJ reviewed the Frentescu factors: the underlying facts and nature of the conviction, the sentence imposed, and whether the alien will be a danger to the community. After considering the sentence and the underlying facts of the conviction, coupled with Arbid’s lack of remorse or responsibility, the IJ found Arbid to be a danger to the community and thus found his crime to be particularly serious, rendering him ineligible for asylum or withholding of removal. Following a subsequent hearing on current political conditions in Lebanon, the IJ found Arbid ineligible for deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture. The Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) considered the nature and scope of Arbid’s complex scheme to defraud and affirmed. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit found no abuse of discretion by either the IJ or the BIA in concluding that Arbid’s crime was particularly serious, and found substantial evidence to support that it was “[n]o longer more likely than not that Arbid would be tortured upon his return [to Lebanon],” where the Syrian military had withdrawn, an anti-Hezbollah majority now controlled the legislature, and the exiled leader that Arbid supported had returned to govern. PETITION DENIED.

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