Sawyers v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 06-29-2012
  • Case #: 08-70181
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam; Circuit Judges Graber and Clifton; District Judge Carney
  • Full Text Opinion

The years of residency of a petitioner’s relative will not be imputed to the petitioner for purposes of satisfying the seven-year continuous residence requirement under 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a)(2).

Damien Antonio Sawyers sought review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’s (“BIA”) decision denying cancellation of removal. The BIA based its determination on its finding that Sawyers could not satisfy the seven-year continuous residence requirement under 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a)(2). On remand from the United States Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit noted that in its original decision, the Court imputed the years of residence of Sawyer’s mother to Sawyer pursuant to its prior decisions in Cuevas-Gaspar v. Gonzales and Mercado-Zazueta v. Holder. Because the Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s original decision, the Ninth Circuit rejected Sawyer’s imputation argument since Cuevas-Gaspar and Mercado-Zazueta are no longer good law. Sawyer further argued that the BIA erred in finding that his conviction for “maintaining a dwelling for keeping controlled substances” terminated his continuous residence. According to Sawyer, his conviction might have qualified as a “single offense involving possession for one’s own use of 30 grams or less of marijuana” under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i). The Court disagreed, because the indictment included four counts involving cocaine and one count for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Thus, Sawyer’s convictions did not merely involve possession of marijuana “for one’s own use.” Petition DENIED.

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