J. Cruz Ramirez-Barajas Petitioner
Jefferson B. Sessions, III, Attorney General of the United States of America Respondent J. Cruz Ramirez-Barajas Petitioner
Jefferson B. Sessions, III, Attorney General of the United States Respondent
Submitted: October 20, 2017
for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals
LOKEN, GRUENDER, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.
BENTON, Circuit Judge.
Immigration Judge denied J. Cruz Ramirez-Barajas's
application for cancellation of removal. The Board of
Immigration Appeals dismissed his appeal and denied his
motion to reconsider. He petitions for review of both
decisions. Having jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252,
this court denies the consolidated petitions.
inspection or admission, Ramirez-Barajas entered the United
States in 1991. In 2001, he was convicted of misdemeanor
domestic assault. See Minn. Stat. § 609.2242,
subd. 1(1). The Department of Homeland Security began removal
proceedings in 2012, charging him with removability as an
alien present without admission or parole. See 8
U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(A)(i).
removability, Ramirez-Barajas applied for cancellation of
removal. See 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1). The
Immigration Judge denied his application, finding him
ineligible because his conviction was a "crime of
domestic violence" under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(E).
See § 1229b(b)(1)(C) (an alien is ineligible
for cancellation of removal if "convicted of an offense
under section . . . 1227(a)(2) . . . of this title . . .
appeal, the BIA affirmed the Immigration Judge's decision
and later denied reconsideration. Ramirez-Barajas petitions
for review, arguing that his conviction is not a crime of
domestic violence because it is not a "crime of
violence" under 18 U.S.C. § 16(a). This court
consolidated the two petitions. See §
court lacks jurisdiction to review the discretionary denial
of cancellation of removal under § 1229b, but has
jurisdiction to review questions of law raised in a petition
for review. Pinos-Gonzalez v. Mukasey, 519 F.3d 436,
439 (8th Cir. 2008), citing §§
1252(a)(2)(B)(i), 1252(a)(2)(D). This court reviews "the
BIA's legal determinations de novo, according
substantial deference to the BIA's interpretation of the
statutes and regulations it administers." Roberts v.
Holder, 745 F.3d 928, 930 (8th Cir. 2014). This court
reviews for abuse of discretion the BIA's denial of a
motion to reconsider. Esenwah v. Ashcroft, 378 F.3d
763, 765 (8th Cir. 2004).
1227(a)(2)(E)(i) defines a crime of domestic violence as
"any crime of violence (as defined in section 16 of
Title 18)" in a domestic relationship. Ramirez-Barajas
concedes the domestic-relationship element. He argues only
that the Minnesota statute-whoever "commits an act with
intent to cause fear in [a family or household member] of
immediate bodily harm or death"-is not a crime of
violence, because it does not have "as an element the
use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force
against the person or property of another."
Compare Minn. Stat. § 609.2242, subd. 1(1),
with § 16(a).
States v. Schaffer controls this issue. This court there
held that a conviction under the same statute is a
"violent felony" under the force clause of the
Armed Career Criminal Act, because it has "as an element
'the threatened use of physical force against the person
of another.'" United States v. Schaffer,
818 F.3d 796, 798 (8th Cir. 2016), quoting 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(e)(2)(B)(i). Although Schaffer addresses
the ACCA, its language-threatened use of physical force
against the person of another-mirrors that in § 16(a).
See Roberts, 745 F.3d at 930 (recognizing
"violent felony" under the ACCA as "virtually
identical" to "crime of violence" under §
domestic assault under the Minnesota statute is a crime of
violence under § 16(a). The BIA did not err in finding
Ramirez-Barajas ineligible for cancellation of removal, nor