Guyanese murder convict loses deportation appeal

A Guyanese man, convicted of murder in the United States in 1984, is being deported after authorities on Wednesday ruled that he should be returned.

According to court documents, on Wednesday three Circuit Judges denied an administrative review of a deportation order made against Leon De Nobrega, who has been fighting since 2004 to remain in the US.

The documents said that De Nobrega is a citizen of Guyana but a permanent resident of the US. He petitioned for the review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decision, which affirmed the Immigration Judge’s final order of removal and denied his application for a waiver of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act. In his application to the judges, De Nobrega contended that the Board violated his due process by applying decisions in a 2005 case retroactively to his case, and erred when in conclusions about the grounds for his deportation.

It was stated that in 2004, the Homeland Security Department issued a Notice to Appear to De Nobrega, charging that he was removable from the US because he had been convicted of an aggravated felony crime of violence and a crime involving “moral turpitude.” The notice said that on June 26, 1984 De Nobrega was convicted in Bronx County, New York, of the offense of murder in the second degree. While he admitted the allegation, De Nobrega conceded removability but requested a waiver of removal. This was denied by the immigration judge, who ruled that deportation does not have a statutory counterpart in any of the grounds of inadmissibility. De Nobrega then appealed to the Board but the appeal was dismissed after it was observed that the statutory counterpart test in the case cited by the applicant was based on a well-settled precedent that predated his 1984 guilty plea. Therefore, the Board concluded that, applying the statutory counterpart test, De Nobrega’s conviction did not result in an impermissible retroactive effect.

Citing a number of cases, the Circuit Judges ruled that the Board correctly ruled that De Nobrega was ineligible for relief and as such denied his petition for review.

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