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Bojnoordi v. Holder

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

July 7, 2014

GHOLAMREZA BOJNOORDI, Petitioner,
v.
ERIC H. HOLDER, Jr., Attorney General, Respondent

Argued and Submitted, Pasadena, California June 2, 2014.

On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Agency No. A071-524-565.

Immigration

The panel denied a petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals' determination that a native of Iran provided material support to a Tier III terrorist organization and was thus ineligible for immigration relief other than deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture.

The panel held that the statutory terrorism bar at 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B) applies retroactively to petitioner's material support of a Tier III organization, the Mojahedi-e Khalq (" MEK" ), even though his activities with MEK in the 1970s were before it was officially designated as a terrorist group.

The panel held that substantial evidence supported the Board's determination that MEK was a terrorist organization in the 1970s. The panel further held that Bojnoordi provided material support to MEK during the 1970s and that he failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that he did not know, or should not reasonably have known, that MEK was a terrorist organization during that time frame.

Lisa Anderson (argued) and Houman Varzandeh, Varzandeh Anderson LLP, Los Angeles, California, for Petitioner.

Lyle Davis Jentzer (argued), Attorney; Tony West, Assistant Attorney General; Ethan B. Kanter, Deputy Chief, National Security Unit; Edward J. Duffy, Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, Office of Immigration Litigation, Washington, D.C., for Respondent.

Before: Ronald M. Gould and N.R. Smith, Circuit Judges, and Edward R. Korman, Senior District Judge.[*] Opinion by Judge Gould.

OPINION

Page 1076

GOULD, Circuit Judge:

Petitioner Gholamreza Bojnoordi challenges a Board of Immigration Appeals (" BIA" ) determination that he provided material support in the 1970s to a " Tier III" [1] terrorist organization, Mojahedin-e Khalq

Page 1077

(" MEK" ), making him statutorily ineligible for immigration relief other than deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture (" CAT" ). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. ยง 1252(a), and we deny the petition ...


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