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Pangiotis Tsaglas, A097 324 516 (BIA Mar. 18, 2014)

Pangiotis Tsaglas, A097 324 516 (BIA Mar. 18, 2014)

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In this unpublished decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) remanded the record in light of the intervening decision in Keathly v. Holder, 696 F.3d 655 (7th Cir. 2012), which recognized an "official authorization" defense to charges of removability based on unlawful voting under INA 237(a)(6). The Board stated that the sending of a voter registration card to the respondent after he obtained a driver's license would support a finding that the "official authorization" defense would apply to his case. The decision was written by Member Edward Grant.

Looking for IRAC’s Index of Unpublished BIA Decisions? Visit www.irac.net/unpublished/index
In this unpublished decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) remanded the record in light of the intervening decision in Keathly v. Holder, 696 F.3d 655 (7th Cir. 2012), which recognized an "official authorization" defense to charges of removability based on unlawful voting under INA 237(a)(6). The Board stated that the sending of a voter registration card to the respondent after he obtained a driver's license would support a finding that the "official authorization" defense would apply to his case. The decision was written by Member Edward Grant.

Looking for IRAC’s Index of Unpublished BIA Decisions? Visit www.irac.net/unpublished/index

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U.S.

Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review

Board ofImmigration Appeals Office of the Clerk
5107 leesburg Pike, Suite 2000 Falls Church, Virginia 20530

Azulay, Ira, Esquire Immigration Attorneys, LLP 203 North LaSalle St, #1550 Chicago, IL 60601

OHS/ICE Office of Chief Counsel - CHI 525 West Van Buren Street Chicago, IL 60607

Immigrant & Refugee Appellate Center | www.irac.net

Name: TSAGLAS, PANAGIOTIS

A 097-324-516

Date of this notice: 3/18/2014

Enclosed is a copy of the Board's decision and order in the above-referenced case. Sincerely,

DO>VtL cl1/Vt.)
Chief Clerk Donna Carr

Enclosure Panel Members: Grant, Edward R.

schuckec Userteam: Docket

For more unpublished BIA decisions, visit www.irac.net/unpublished

Cite as: Pangiotis Tsaglas, A097 324 516 (BIA Mar. 18, 2014)

U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review
Falls Church, Virginia 20530

Decision of the Board oflmmigration Appeals

File:

A097 324 516 - Chicago, IL

Date:

In re: PANAGIOTIS TSAGLAS IN REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS

MAR 1 S 2014

Immigrant & Refugee Appellate Center | www.irac.net

APPEAL AND MOTION ON BEHALF OF RESPONDENT: CHARGE: Notice: Sec. 237(a)(l)(A), I&N Act (8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(l)(A)] Ira Azulay, Esquire

Section 212(a)(IO)(D), I&N Act [8 U.S.C. § l l 82(a)(IO)(D)] (Voted unlawfully)

Inadmissible at time of entry or adjustment of status under

Lodged: Sec. 237(a)(l)(B), I&N Act [8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(l)(B)] In the United States in violation of law

Sec. 237(a)(6), I&N Act [8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(6)] Unlawfully voted

APPLICATION: Termination of proceedings; remand

further proceedings.

This case was previously before us on December 21, 20 I 0, when we remanded the record for The respondent, a native and citizen of Greece, has now filed a timely

appeal of an Immigration Judge's decision dated March 15, 2012. During the pendency of the appeal, the respondent filed a motion to remand, based on his marriage to a United States citizen

not filed a brief or statement on appeal. The record will be remanded.

and an application for adjustment of status. The Department of Homeland Security (''DHS") has

8 C.F.R. § 1003.1 (d)(3)(i-ii). Due to
an

and judgment, and all other issues raised in appeals from decisions of Immigration Judges.

We review for clear error findings of fact, and review de novo all questions of law, discretion,

o!der, 696 F.3d 644 in which this case arises, we will remand the record. See Keathley v. d (ih Cir. 2012). In that case, the Seventh Circuit remanded the record for further exploration of voting. Findings of fact, sufficiently complete to analyze this case in the framework set forth in Keathley
v.

intervening decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit,

factual issues potentially implicating the "official authorization" defense to a charge of unlawful

in the November 6, 2008 Immigration Judge decision. 1 We therefore conclude a remand is warranted.
1

Holder, were not made, either in the March 15, 2012 Immigration Judge decision, or

respondent indicating that he only voted because he had been sent a voter's registration card after

The November 6, 2008 decision quotes at length from what appears to be a letter from the

Cite as: Pangiotis Tsaglas, A097 324 516 (BIA Mar. 18, 2014)

A097 324 516

·

entry of a new ecision. _

ORDER: The record is remanded to the Immigration Judge for further proceedings and the

Immigrant & Refugee Appellate Center | www.irac.net
having applied for a valid driver's license. As the record now stands, the letter in question would not make initial findings of fact, and no findings of fact were made with respect to the "official authorization" defense. support a finding that the "official authorization" defense applies in this case; however, we do

2

Cite as: Pangiotis Tsaglas, A097 324 516 (BIA Mar. 18, 2014)
4LMJcU%£

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR IMMIGRATION REVIEW UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION COURT CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Immigrant & Refugee Appellate Center | www.irac.net

File:

A097-324-516

March 15,

2012

In the Matter of

PANAGIOTIS TSAGLAS RESPONDENT

IN REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS

CHARGES:

Section 237 (a) (1) (B) of the INA, as amended, in after admission as an non-immigrant under Section lOl (a) (15) of the Act, he remained in the United States for a time longer than permitted; Section 237 (a) (6) of the INA, as amended, in that any time after admission you voted in violation of any federal, State, or local constitution provision, statute, ordinance, or regulation.

APPLICATIONS:

Adjustment of status pursuant to Section 245 (a) of the INA.

ON BEHALF OF RESPONDENT: STACY M. VEZSI, Esquire 203 North LaSalle Street, 1550 Chicago, Illinois 60601

ON BEHALF OF DHS: LYNN HOLLANDER, Esquire Department of Homeland Security 525 West Van Buren Street Chicago, Illinois 60607

1

ORAL DECISION OF THE IMMIGRATION JUDGE This matter is back from the Board of Immigration Appeals due to a decision dated December 21, 2010 which sustained the

Immigrant & Refugee Appellate Center | www.irac.net

respondent's appeal from a decision which this Judge entered on November 6, 2008, finding that the Government had established

that the respondent did unlawfully vote in a local election. The Board, in its decision dated December 21, 2010,

sustained the respondent's appeal and returned the matter to this Court in order to have the respondent pursue adjustment of status and remanded the decision for a determination of removability on the charges lodged. Apparently, there were two

charges which had been lodged at the time. was one, the second was the respondent, longer than allowed. footnote 2.

The unlawful voting

whether he remained

See Exhibit A, the Board's decision,

This footnote indicates that this judge apparently made no finding as to whether the respondent remained longer than allowed. At his remanded hearing, the respondent does not

contest the fact that he remained longer than allowed. Consequently, this charge has been sustained by clear and See 8 C.F.R. Section 1240. 8. This, in and

convincing evidence. of itself,

does not affect or preclude the respondent from He simply remained longer than

seeking adjustment of status.

A097-324-516

2

March 15, 2012

allowed after having been admitted to the United States.

He

would be eligible for adjustment of status through a citizen wife. It is the issue about whether the respondent voted in

Immigrant & Refugee Appellate Center | www.irac.net

violation of any federal, state, provision, statute, ordinance,

or local or constitutional

or regulation which is ultimately

determinative of whether the respondent is able to remain in the United States. The Department provided a group exhibit at Exhibit B. submission includes specific sub-sections beginning with lOILCSS/3-1, relating to the election "in the State of Illinois. " The exhibit submitted references the code and This

specifically the qualifications of voters in the state of Illinois, along with eligibility for individuals to sign the

petitions, the requirements of nominating. petitions,

requirements of permanent abodes in order constitute the residents within the meaning of the code, and other provisions

which relate to whether individuals are qualified to vote. The respondent submitted a group submission at C which indicates various Board decisions, along with the Yates The respondent also

memorandum and a copy of lOILCSS/29-12.

submitted unreported Board decisions from 2010 and 2011 along with an appellate brief. The respondent argues in part that lOILCSS/29-12 requires a

A097-324-516

3

March 15, 2012

.

.

person to "knowingly" vote..

The Department argues that or local constitutional ordinance, or

essentially voting in a federal, state,

election voting in violation of any statute,

Immigrant & Refugee Appellate Center | www.irac.net

regulation is a violation of the Immigration Act if an individual has voted in violation of any of those laws. The

Government further argues that there is no requirement that intent be necessary in order to be rendered removable from the United States. The Government's argument has appealed the statute itself only requires that an individual who has voted in any federal, state, or local constitutional provision, regulation is inadmissible. statute, ordinance, or

The respondent's argument does have

appeal only if an individual is convicted of a misdemeanor offense. There, at lOILCSS/29-12, the Government must prove If

that an individual "knowingly" violated the code by voting. it is established that an individual knowingly violated in violation of the code, that individual would be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. There are distinctions.

Essentially, the

federal statute under the Immigration Act is a strict liability statute and an individual simply needs to vote, language in the statute. argument is dismissed. Given all of the other evidence in the record, including according to the

Consequently, the respondent's

A097-324-516

4

March 15, 2012

all of the testimony included in the initial hearing which is incorporated herein by reference, it is the assessment of this and the Government

Judge that the respondent did vote,

Immigrant & Refugee Appellate Center | www.irac.net

established by clear evidence that it was in violation of the Illinois code that is referenced in the proceeding paragraphs. Consequently, this Judge finds that the respondent is removable as charged in Section 237(a) (6) voted in a federal, state, statute, ordinance, of the INA to the extent that he

or local constitutional provision,

or regulation.

The respondent has requested adjustment of status given the fact that he is not eligible for a waiver because he was not residing permanently in the United States prior to attaining the age of 16 and, consequently, he could not reasonably believe at he is not eligible his

the time that he voted that he was a citizen, for a waiver under the Immigration Act. request for adjustment will be dismissed.

Consequently,

The respondent was offered voluntary departure. declined.

He

Accordingly, the following order will be entered ORDER

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the respondent's application for adjustment of status will be dismissed. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the respondent be removed and

A097-324-516

5

March 15,

2012

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ZA

d

uz;

,. .

,:

deported from the United States to Greece, Notice to Appear and in the I-261.

as charged in the

Immigrant & Refugee Appellate Center | www.irac.net

Date:

March 15,

2012.

CARLOS CUEVAS Immigration Judge

A097-324-516

6

March 15,

2012

CERTIFICATE PAGE

I hereby certify that the attached proceeding before JUDGE CARLOS CUEVAS, in the matter of:

Immigrant & Refugee Appellate Center | www.irac.net

PANAGIOTIS TSAGLAS

A097-324-516

CHICAGO,

ILLINOIS

is an accurate, verbatim transcript of the recording as provided by the Executive Office for Immigration Review and that this is the original transcript thereof for the file of the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

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KATHERINE Y.

MULLEN

(Transcriber) Inc.

FREE STATE REPORTING, MAY 11, 2012

(Completion Date)

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