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7th Circuit upholds denial of alien's motion to dismiss

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals sidestepped ruling directly on the exhaustion requirement of a federal law dealing with an alien’s challenge to the validity of a deportation order. The appellate court could affirm the denial of the man’s motion to dismiss because he failed to meet any of the law’s exhaustion requirements.

In United States of America v. Mario Arita-Campos, No. 09-2368, Mario Arita-Campos moved to dismiss his 2005 indictment in Indiana for violating 8 U.S.C. Section 1326(a), which makes it illegal to re-enter the country after being deported. Arita-Campos first came to the U.S. illegally when he was 14. After he was caught by immigration officials, he failed to show at his hearing and was ordered to be deported in absentia. He had provided a mailing address to officials before the hearing.

Ten years later, he resurfaced in Illinois and was deported again. Then he re-entered the country and was caught in Indiana. He was indicted here for violating Section 1326(a), but he claimed he never received notice of the 1994 hearing, so it couldn’t be the basis for his violation of the 2005 indictment.
The District Court denied his motion to dismiss, finding he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies or show the hearing was fundamentally unfair. He pleaded guilty but reserved the right to appeal.

A defendant may collaterally attack the deportation order underlying an offense under Section 1326, but the burden of proof is on the defendant. The law says that in order to challenge the validity of a deportation order, the alien must exhaust any administrative remedies available; must demonstrate that the deportation proceedings at which the order was issued improperly deprived the alien of the opportunity for judicial review; and must demonstrate the entry of the order was fundamentally unfair.

Some Circuit Courts have held that the defendant must satisfy all three prongs to prevail in a collateral attack; the 9th Circuit Court held the exhaustion requirement can’t bar collateral review when the waiver of right to administrative appeal didn’t comport with due process. The 7th Circuit has yet to discuss the distinction between the Circuit Courts or expressly hold that all three requirements must be met. The appellate court decided it didn’t have to resolve any of those issues today because Arita-Campos failed to satisfy any of the three requirements.

He had ample time to file a motion to reopen the case upon the entry of the final decision, but failed to do so. Arita-Campos also didn’t attempt to show that habeas relief was unavailable to him. He also didn’t show that his due process rights were violated and he suffered from prejudice from the deportation proceedings, the judges ruled.  
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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