Patino v. Holder
An immigrant who applies for voluntary deportation, prior to the conclusion of deportation proceedings, may not be eligible for consideration for voluntary deportation, pursuant to 8 United States Code §1229c(b), which covers applications filed at the conclusion of deportation proceedings. The petitioner, a citizen of Ecuador, applied for voluntary deportation, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. §1229c. In January 2008, Hartford Immigration Judge Michael Straus denied the petitioner's application. The Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed. The petitioner appealed to the 2nd Circuit. The factors the petitioner claims that the board failed to consider relate to applications for voluntary departure under 8 U.S.C. §1229c(b), which covers applications filed at the conclusion of deportation proceedings. The petitioner filed his application prior to the conclusion of deportation proceedings. "[T]he IJ's refusal to grant voluntary departure on the ground that he did not merit such relief," wrote the 2nd Circuit, "was entirely proper under §1229c(a) and was well within its broad discretion." The 2nd Circuit also rejected the petitioner's claim that his former attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel. To prevail, the petitioner was required to establish his former attorney's performance was so ineffective it influenced the fundamental fairness of the hearing. The petitioner failed to specify relief for which he was eligible and that his former attorney did not pursue. The 2nd Circuit denied the petition for review. Glenn Formica and Elyssa Williams represented the petitioner. Laura Halliday Hickein, Shelley Goad and Stuart Delery represented the respondent, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.