Jose F. Guerrero Tejado, Petitioner
Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General of the United States, Respondent
Submitted October 7, 2014
Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals.
For Jose F. Guerrero Tejado, Petitioner: Angela Bortel, The Bortel Firm, Minneapolis, MN.
For Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General of the United States, Respondent: Scott Baniecke, U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service, Bloomington, MN; Karen Yolanda Drummond, Brendan Paul Hogan, Carl H. McIntyre, Andrew Oliveira, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Office of Immigration Litigation, Washington, DC.
Before MURPHY, SMITH, and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges.
Jose Guerrero Tejado (" Guerrero" ) seeks review of a final order from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming an Immigration Judge's (IJ) denial of his applications for cancellation of removal and asylum. We find that the IJ and the BIA properly exercised their discretion in denying Guerrero's applications, and deny Guerrero's petition for review.
Guerrero, a Honduras native, entered the United States illegally in 1990. For most of his stay in this country, Guerrero has misrepresented himself as a citizen of El Salvador for the advantageous Temporary Protected Status (TPS) allowed to Salvadorans. Guerrero was granted TPS status after submitting an application in which he claimed to be a citizen of El Salvador. When Salvadorans' TPS status was due to expire in 1995, Guerrero applied for asylum, again misrepresenting himself as a Salvadoran by submitting a false Salvadoran birth certificate and alleging he faced potential retribution from the Salvadoran government because he and his father were members of a powerful guerilla unit in the 1980s. After he filed for asylum, Guerrero submitted work authorization requests, which also misrepresented his national origin. In 2001, Guerrero continued to misrepresent himself in an asylum interview that reviewed his 1995 asylum application. The asylum officer, believing Guerrero was Salvadoran, informed Guerrero of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), which granted immigration benefits and limits on removals to Salvadorans, among others. See Pub. L. 105-100, 111 Stat. 2160. Guerrero did not correct the officer's mistaken belief that Guerrero was Salvadoran. To his credit, Guerrero chose not to apply for NACARA benefits.
It was not until 2009, 19 years after his entry into this country, that Guerrero revealed his true national origin, and then, not by choice. When Guerrero missed an asylum interview in 2008, the Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings, alleging that Guerrero was present in the United States without inspection and parole by an immigration officer in violation of § 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. See 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(A)(i). In his response, Guerrero admitted his Honduran citizenship and conceded his removability, but he nevertheless filed applications for cancellation of removal and asylum.
The IJ denied Guerrero's applications for cancellation of removal and asylum, finding that he did not merit the favorable exercise of discretion required to obtain these remedies. The IJ further concluded that Guerrero was not legally eligible. First, the IJ exercised her discretion to deny ...