Submitted: May 14, 2019
Petitions for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration
BENTON, WOLLMAN, and GRASZ, Circuit Judges.
United States Department of Homeland Security
("DHS") determined Petitioner Wilson Cardoza
Salazar ("Cardoza") was removable under 8 U.S.C.
§ 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) because it concluded he was
convicted in Iowa of committing an aggravated felony. Cardoza
petitions this court and argues his Iowa conviction did not
constitute an aggravated felony and DHS violated his due
process rights. We deny Cardoza's petitions.
is a native and citizen of El Salvador who illegally entered
the United States in approximately 2004. Cardoza has made no
claim to United States citizenship or lawful permanent
2008, Cardoza pled guilty to committing forgery in violation
of Iowa Code § 715A.2(2)(b). Cardoza admitted to having
a false social security card in his possession. An Iowa court
sentenced Cardoza to two years of imprisonment, but the
sentence was suspended and Cardoza was placed on probation
for two years.
of 2018, officials with United States Immigration and Customs
Enforcement ("ICE") encountered Cardoza during a
vehicle stop. When Cardoza admitted being a citizen and
national of El Salvador who was in the United States
illegally, the ICE officials arrested Cardoza.
issued Cardoza a Form I-851, Notice of Intent to Issue a
Final Administrative Order ("Notice of Intent"),
which alleged Cardoza was deportable under 8 U.S.C. §
1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) because Cardoza's Iowa forgery
conviction was an aggravated felony as defined by 8 U.S.C.
§ 1101(a)(43)(R). The Notice of Intent provided Cardoza
a deadline to respond to the charges.
Cardoza's deadline expired, DHS received a letter from
Cardoza's attorney requesting to inspect DHS's
evidence of removability, including documents establishing
the existence of the conviction. The letter asserted that
under 8 U.S.C. § 1228(b)(4)(C) and 8 C.F.R. §
238.1(c)(2)(ii), Cardoza had an additional ten days to
respond after DHS provided the evidence.
Several days later, DHS responded to Cardoza's
attorney's letter and provided the requested documents of
conviction. But on that same day, DHS issued a Final
Administrative Removal Order ("FARO") pursuant to 8
U.S.C. § 1228(b). DHS concluded Cardoza's Iowa
forgery conviction was an aggravated felony, and therefore,
he was removable pursuant to 8 U.S.C. §
filed a petition for review with this court in May 2018 under
docket number 18-2146. Meanwhile, Cardoza's proceedings
before DHS continued pursuant to 8 C.F.R. §
208.31 because Cardoza expressed a fear he would
suffer persecution or torture if he returned to El Salvador.
Cardoza met with an asylum officer for a reasonable fear
determination. The DHS asylum officer determined Cardoza was
not likely to experience persecution or torture if returned
to El Salvador. Upon Cardoza's request, the determination
was referred to an Immigration Judge ("IJ") for
review. After reviewing the record, the IJ issued a decision
concurring with the DHS asylum officer's determination.
Cardoza then filed a petition for review of the IJ's
final order under docket number 18-2446. We
consolidated the two cases.