Thursday, September 24, 2009

Burden of proof as to existence of conviction

Barradas v. Holder, No. 08-3440 (9/23/09) burden of proof as to existence of conviction, Compelled Testimony, Excessive Interrogation by IJ

Barradas v. Holder (Tinder)
Oral Argument | Full Text

Record contained sufficient evidence to support IJ's finding that lawful permanent resident was removable on grounds that he had abetted other aliens to enter U.S. unlawfully. While govt. failed to produce court record regarding defendant's prior guilty plea to charge of alien smuggling, govt. could use criminal complaint, Forms I-213 and I-831, as well as evidence of defendant's guilty plea to said offense to satisfy its burden of proof as to existence of conviction. Ct. also rejected alien's argument that IJ denied him due process by implying that he would take adverse inference if alien refused to take witness stand, and by questioning alien regarding underlying facts of alien smuggling charge. Here, the court deferred to the Attorney General’s regulation for determining what kinds of evidence may be used to prove a criminal conviction in immigration proceedings, 8 C.F.R. § 1003.41. Subsection (d) of this regulation provides that “[a]ny . . . evidence that reasonably indicates the existence of a criminal conviction may be admissible as evidence thereof.” 8 C.F.R. § 1003.41(d). The Federal Rules of Evidence do not apply in immigration proceedings. Doumbia v. Gonzales, 472 F.3d 957, 962 (7th Cir. 2007). Evidence is admissible so long as it is probative and its admission is fundamentally fair. Rosendo-Ramirez, 32 F.3d at 1088. The court allowed the admission of Forms I-213 to prove the truth of their contents. See Rosendo-Ramirez, 32 F.3d at 1089.

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