James Acquaah v. Loretta Lynch
Filed opinion of the court PER CURIAM. Petition for Review is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Kenneth F. Ripple, Circuit Judge; Ilana Diamond Rovner, Circuit Judge and David F. Hamilton, Circuit Judge. [6881729-1]  [16-3277]
United States Court of Appeals
For the Seventh Circuit
JAMES O. ACQUAAH,
JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney
General of the United States,
Petition for Review of an Order of the
Board of Immigration Appeals.
ARGUED JUNE 7, 2017 — DECIDED NOVEMBER 6, 2017
Before RIPPLE, ROVNER and HAMILTON, Circuit Judges.
PER CURIAM. James Acquaah is a sixty‐three‐year‐old man
from Ghana. He originally entered the United States on a vis‐
itor’s visa and later obtained conditional permanent resident
status based on his marriage to a United States citizen. His
application to remove the conditions on his residency sparked
proceedings that have spanned more than twenty‐five years.
While those proceedings awaited a decision by the Board of
Immigration Appeals (the “Board”), his first marriage ended,
he remarried and had a daughter, and he sought and received
permanent residency under a different name on the basis of
that second marriage. The procedural history of this case is
complicated, but the issue before us in the present petition is
a narrow one: whether, when issuing a final decision in 2015
on Mr. Acquaah’s first petition to remove the conditions on his
residency, the Board erred in determining that Mr. Acquaah
was statutorily ineligible for a fraud waiver. We conclude that
the Board erred in construing the statutory waiver and there‐
fore remand this case to the Board for proceedings consistent
with this opinion.
In 1981, Mr. Acquaah married Apollonia Sowah in Ghana.
While still married to Sowah, Mr. Acquaah was admitted to
this country in 1984 on a visitor’s visa. In mid‐1986, he di‐
vorced Sowah, and several months later, he married a United
States citizen, Sharon Collins. Collins filed a petition on his
behalf, and on the basis of their marriage, he obtained condi‐
tional permanent resident status.
In 1990, he and Collins jointly filed a petition to remove
the conditions on his permanent resident status (the “Collins
petition”) and were jointly interviewed on the petition in
April 1990. The record is not entirely clear on the point, but
he and Collins separated around the same time. A year after
the interview, the agency (the former Immigration and Natu‐
ralization Service, or “INS”) issued its notice of intent to deny
the petition because it concluded that he had failed to show
that his marriage was bona fide at its inception. In June 1991,
on the basis of that decision, the agency initiated deportation
proceedings. It charged Mr. Acquaah as deportable under 8
U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(D)(i), as an alien whose conditional status
had been terminated “because the marriage which qualified
you for status was determined to have been entered into for
the sole purpose of procuring your entry as an immigrant.”1
Approximately one month later, Mr. Acquaah, now sepa‐
rated from Collins, registered a new customary marriage to
his first wife, Sowah, in Ghana, using the name “Kofi Obese.”2
In deportation proceedings, an immigration judge (“IJ”)
reviewed the agency’s charge relating to the denial of the Col‐
lins petition. The IJ noted that the statute governing termina‐
tion of conditional resident status, 8 U.S.C. § 1186a(c)(3)(A),
required the INS to issue a decision within 90 days of the in‐
terview. When it failed to do so, the conditions on Mr. Ac‐
quaah’s residence were “removed by operation of law.”3 He
was, therefore, a permanent resident, and the IJ terminated
The agency appealed from the IJ’s 1992 decision to termi‐
nate proceedings, and the case languished (inexplicably) with
the Board of Immigration Appeals for nearly a decade. Dur‐
ing that decade, Sowah immigrated to the United States, ap‐
1 A.R. at 658.
2 At his final hearing before the immigration judge, the petitioner stated
that his full name was James Kofi Obese Acquaah. Id. at 244.
3 Id. at 636.
parently the beneficiary of a successful diversity lottery appli‐
cation. Mr. Acquaah and Sowah had a child together,
Georgene. With no decision from the Board on the Collins
petition, Mr. Acquaah applied for and obtained status
through Sowah in 1996, using the name under which he had
registered their marriage in Ghana, Kofi Obese. He obtained,
therefore, a second permanent residence card under this
In 2000, the Board finally issued its decision on the Collins
petition. It concluded that the agency’s failure to adjudicate
the petition in a timely fashion was not a basis for the immi‐
gration court to terminate deportation proceedings, and the
Board therefore remanded the case for further proceedings.
In 2003, Mr. Acquaah and Collins divorced. Back before
the IJ, Mr. Acquaah sought a continuance to pursue a new pe‐
tition to lift the conditional nature of his lawful permanent
residence, this time, with a waiver of the joint filing require‐
ment under 8 U.S.C. § 1186a(c)(4)(B), the “good faith waiver.”
This petition, which would be adjudicated by the agency in
the first instance, required him to establish that, although the
marriage to Collins had ended in divorce, he had entered it in
good faith and not for the purpose of obtaining an immigra‐
tion benefit. The IJ agreed to close the case administratively
while Mr. Acquaah pursued the good faith waiver. For rea‐
sons undisclosed by the record, several more years passed,
and in 2010 the agency eventually denied this petition.
Because the good faith waiver was denied administra‐
tively by the agency, Mr. Acquaah’s case was again referred to
the IJ for a new hearing. Days before the scheduled hearing
on the merits, the agency took Mr. Acquaah’s fingerprints in a
routine step to complete a background check. Before the re‐
sults of the fingerprint analysis became known, Mr. Acquaah
appeared for the hearing, and his testimony was selective. He
did not mention, for example, that, after separating from Col‐
lins, he had remarried Sowah. Nor did he mention that he had
a child with Sowah, born in the United States. The IJ accepted
his testimony as true and granted his request for a good faith
waiver of the joint petition requirement. The IJ noted that the
case concerned the intent of the parties to a marriage some
twenty years prior and which had lasted only three years, that
Mr. Acquaah nevertheless had provided, in 1992 and testi‐
mony in 2011, evidence to support the bona fides of his mar‐
riage, and that, although the Government was suspicious, it
had submitted little contrary evidence. This ruling removed
the conditional nature of his lawful permanent resident status
as James Acquaah.
The day after the IJ granted Mr. Acquaah’s permanent res‐
idence, his fingerprint results came back to the agency—with
two hits: James Acquaah, who had received conditional resi‐
dence in 1988 and permanent residence in 2011 on the basis of
his marriage to Collins, and Kofi Obese, who had received
permanent residence in 1996 on the basis of his marriage to
Sowah. The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”)
therefore launched an investigation, and in 2013, moved to re‐
open the original deportation proceedings against Mr. Ac‐
quaah. DHS asserted that the new evidence established both
identity fraud and marriage fraud, i.e., that his marriage to
Collins was fraudulent and not in good faith.
The IJ granted the agency’s motion to reopen, agreeing
that evidence had been uncovered to suggest that there was
fraud in the original proceeding with respect to Mr. Acquaah’s
identity and his marriage to Collins. Specifically, the IJ ruled
that the Government had submitted evidence in connection
with its motion to reopen that “suggest[ed] that there was
fraud in the respondentʹs original proceeding, not only with
respect to his identity, but also with respect to whether his
marriage to Sharon Collins was in good faith.”4
In the reopened proceedings, the agency lodged an addi‐
tional charge against Mr. Acquaah: that he was deportable as
an alien “who by fraud or willful misrepresentation of a ma‐
terial fact sought to procure (or has sought to procure or has
procured) a visa or other documentation or other benefit un‐
der the Act.” See 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(C)(i).5 That charge sup‐
plemented the charge in the Order to Show Cause from 1992,
4 Id. at 332.
5 Id. at 329. The statute mirrors the language of the charge. The factual
allegations supporting the charge were:
7. You have used two separate names in the United
States—James Acquaah and Kofi Obese.
8. You attempted to procure, and did procure, immigra‐
tion benefits under each of these identities.
9. You failed to disclose to immigration officials the fact
that you were attempting to procure immigration benefits
under the separate identi[t]ies, James Acquaah and
Id. As the IJ noted, because Mr. Acquaah was charged under the
former law, the applicable fraud provision was § 212(a)(19) of the
pre‐1996 Immigration and Nationality Act. A.R. at 213.
which alleged that his conditional status was terminated be‐
cause his marriage to Collins was fraudulent, i.e., entered
solely for the purpose of obtaining permanent residency.
In a new hearing, Mr. Acquaah testified before the IJ that,
even though he and Collins were not officially divorced until
2003, he had separated from her in 1991. Following that sepa‐
ration, he continued, he reconnected with his ex‐wife from
Ghana, Sowah, who recently had moved to Chicago. They
lived together, and in 1995 Sowah gave birth to their daughter,
Georgene. Mr. Acquaah explained that he filed the second ap‐
plication for permanent resident status shortly afterward, in
1996, when Georgene was an infant, because Sowah was dy‐
ing of sickle‐cell disease, and he feared—given that his prior
application had been pending for nearly a decade—that his
immigration status would not be resolved before she died. He
was particularly intent on obtaining permanent resident sta‐
tus before having to become the sole caregiver for Georgene,
who had inherited sickle‐cell disease from her mother and
who also suffers from multiple sclerosis. Sowah eventually
died in 2008. Since then, Mr. Acquaah has been caring for
Georgene by himself. He has supported her through his work
as an accountant and as a pastor at his local church. Georgene
corroborated that account in an affidavit, in which she ex‐
plained that, although she now is a college student, she still
relies on her father for help with her medical and financial
needs, and that she still returns home almost every weekend.
Her medical condition and Sowah’s death were also con‐
firmed by additional record documents.
The IJ considered both charges brought by the Govern‐
ment. He first addressed the additional charge added by the
Government in the reopened proceedings: identity fraud,
based on Mr. Acquaah’s conduct in pursuing status on the ba‐
sis of his marriage to Sowah. The IJ concluded that this charge
was not sustained. While noting that “it is clear that [Mr. Ac‐
quaahʹs] adjustment of status to that of a permanent resident
in 1996” on the basis of the marriage to Sowah “was fraudu‐
lent,”6 the IJ nevertheless concluded that the elements of the
statutory charge were not satisfied by the Government’s
The IJ then turned to the original charge in this reopened
proceeding, relating to termination of conditional resident
status on the ground that the Collins petition constituted mar‐
riage fraud. The IJ first concluded that “the Department of
Homeland Security … properly terminated [Mr. Acquaahʹs]
permanent resident status on a conditional basis and remov‐
ability has been established by evidence which is clear and
The IJ then considered the applications for relief from re‐
moval. The first was a readjudication of the good faith waiver
on the Collins petition. Although the IJ had found in favor of
Mr. Acquaah on this point in 2011, the IJ concluded that the
6 A.R. at 79.
7 The IJ’s oral opinion on the matter is somewhat opaque. He appears to
have concluded that, because of the procedural posture of the case, the
identity fraud charge could not be sustained as a technical matter. He
noted that the Government could revoke the status it granted to
Kofi Obese on the basis of a bigamous marriage without “a decision or
order by this Court sustaining the lodged charge of removability.” Id. at
8 Id. at 79–80.
additional facts brought to light by the Government’s subse‐
quent investigation and Mr. Acquaah’s 2015 testimony re‐
quired a reversal of his prior finding of good faith. The IJ re‐
lied on Mr. Acquaah’s failure to disclose in his 2011 testimony
his remarriage to Sowah and the existence of his daughter to
conclude that Mr. Acquaah’s marriage to Collins was not bona
fide. The IJ concluded that Mr. Acquaah’s testimony was not
credible and that his documents, unsupported by additional
witness testimony, were not “reliable at this point.”9
He then turned to the alternate application for relief, a
fraud waiver under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(H). The IJ agreed
with the Government that Mr. Acquaah was statutorily ineli‐
gible for the waiver. With no other applications for relief be‐
fore him and none apparently available, the IJ ordered Mr. Ac‐
quaah removed. The IJ added that he was “not unsympa‐
thetic” to Mr. Acquaah’s situation, but that the immigration
court was “not a court of equity” and that he did “not have
humanitarian authority to stay [Mr. Acquaahʹs] removal.”10
The Board of Immigration Appeals upheld the IJ’s decision
and dismissed Mr. Acquaah’s appeal. Mr. Acquaah, the Board
pointed out, did not dispute that he had failed to inform the
IJ that, while living in the United States, he was married to
two women at the same time, that he had a child born in this
country, that he previously had been granted permanent res‐
ident status, and that he had provided false information
(name and birthdate) on a previously filed adjustment appli‐
9 Id.at 253.
10 Id. at 72–73.
cation. The Board also concluded that Mr. Acquaah was stat‐
utorily ineligible for the fraud waiver under 8 U.S.C.
The Board issued its own decision rather than merely
adopting the IJ’s decision. Therefore, we review the Board’s
order directly and can uphold that order only on a basis that
the Board has articulated. See Ni v. Holder, 635 F.3d 1014, 1018
(7th Cir. 2011); Moab v. Gonzales, 500 F.3d 656, 659 (7th Cir.
The issue before the court in the present petition for re‐
view is whether the Board erred in determining that Mr. Ac‐
quaah was statutorily ineligible for the fraud waiver under 8
U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(H). We therefore begin with the statutory
language of § 1227, concerning “deportable aliens,” which is
at the heart of this petition:
(a) Classes of deportable aliens
(1) Inadmissible at time of entry or of
adjustment of status or violates sta‐
(H) Waiver authorized for certain
The provisions of this paragraph
relating to the removal of aliens
within the United States on the
ground that they were inadmissible
at the time of admission as aliens de‐
scribed in section 1182(a)(6)(C)(i) of
this title, whether willful or innocent,
may, in the discretion of the Attorney
General, be waived for any alien
(other than an alien described in par‐
agraph (4)(D)) who—
(i)(I) is the spouse, parent, son,
or daughter of a citizen of the
United States or of an alien law‐
fully admitted to the United States
for permanent residence; and
(II) was in possession of an im‐
migrant visa or equivalent docu‐
ment and was otherwise admissi‐
ble to the United States at the time
of such admission … .
A waiver of removal for fraud or misrep‐
resentation granted under this subpara‐
graph shall also operate to waive re‐
moval based on the grounds of inadmis‐
sibility directly resulting from such fraud
8 U.S.C. § 1227(a).
Mr. Acquaah argued to the IJ and again to the Board that
he was eligible for the fraud waiver in § 1227(a)(1)(H) and that
he merited a favorable exercise of discretion.
The IJ, as noted above, determined that Mr. Acquaah was
deportable on one ground: that the Government had
“properly terminated” his conditional resident status in con‐
nection with the Collins petition.11 After denying the good
faith waiver on the merits, the IJ turned to the fraud waiver.
The IJ noted that the matter was before him in reopened de‐
portation proceedings originally initiated prior to 1996, and a
prior version of the waiver statute governed the proceed‐
ings.12 Under that prior version, the waiver only operated to
waive fraud or misrepresentation at “entry,”13 and Mr. Ac‐
quaah’s fraud had occurred in 1996 in connection with his ap‐
plications based on his marriage to Sowah. He therefore de‐
clined to adjudicate the merits of the waiver.
Before the Board, the Government adopted the IJ’s statu‐
tory interpretation: that the relevant fraud, in connection with
the Sowah application, did not occur at entry. The Board
agreed that Mr. Acquaah was statutorily ineligible for the
fraud waiver. However, it rested on an altogether different
ground. It ruled that, “even assuming” that the timing of the
fraud did not bar the application of the waiver “the respond‐
ent is not eligible for a section (a)(1)(H) waiver because
he was found deportable, not for fraud or misrepresentation,
11 Id. at 79.
See Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act
§ 309(c)(1), Pub. L. 104‐208, 110 Stat. 3009‐546 (1996) (providing that for
aliens in proceedings on the date of enactment of the act, the amendments
shall not apply).
13 See 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(1)(H) (1994) (permitting the waiver for aliens “ex‐
cludable at the time of entry”) (current version at 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(H)).
but for having his conditional permanent residence status ter‐
Mr. Acquaah now submits that the Board erred in con‐
cluding that he was ineligible for the fraud waiver. He notes
that the Board narrowly focused on the specific sustained
charge of deportability in his case, the termination of condi‐
tional status in relation to the Collins petition. Its approach,
he contends, is contrary to the language of the statute, which
waives not only a charge formally based on fraud, but also any
grounds of inadmissibility “directly resulting from such
fraud or misrepresentation.” 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(H).15 He ar‐
gues that the statute therefore reaches the termination of his
conditional residency; he relies on Vasquez v. Holder, 602 F.3d
1003, 1015 (9th Cir. 2010), which adopted this somewhat
broader view of the grounds of inadmissibility waivable un‐
der 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(H).
In response, the Government first contends that Mr. Ac‐
quaah failed to exhaust his argument before the Board, noting
that he never cited Vasquez before the agency. The exhaustion
doctrine, however, is an imperfect fit in the present situation.
Mr. Acquaah moved for relief from deportation under the
waiver and contended that he was statutorily eligible
throughout his most recent round of proceedings. In rejecting
his request for a fraud waiver, the IJ cited an entirely different
14 A.R. at 3–4.
15 Mr. Acquaah acknowledges that he has been charged with deportability
“on a plethora of statutory bases,” among them marriage fraud. Pet’r’s Br.
ground—that the prior statute concerned only fraud at “en‐
try.” The Government itself, in its argument to the Board, re‐
peated only this particular objection.16 It was the Board that
provided, in the first instance, the alternate reasoning regard‐
ing the specific grounds of inadmissibility (fraud, but not ter‐
mination of status) that we now consider. Our precedents re‐
garding exhaustion have a clear and recognized exception
“for issues that are not raised by the parties but instead ad‐
dressed by the administrative agency itself.” Arobelidze v.
Holder, 653 F.3d 513, 517 (7th Cir. 2011). Such an exception
“recognizes that once the Board addresses an issue on its own,
the issue is exhausted to the extent it could be, even if it was
not raised by the parties.” Id. (internal quotation marks omit‐
ted). We therefore turn to the substance of the statutory ques‐
First, we place the waiver in its statutory context. Section
1227(a) of Title 8, U.S. Code, identifies classes of deportable
aliens, i.e., aliens subject to removal, and paragraph (1) lists
categories of aliens who are deportable because they were or
16 The Board did not address the question of entry, and appeared to apply
the current version of the statute, noting that “even assuming” the fraud
here was committed during an admission, the waiver would not reach the
particular grounds on which he was found deportable. A.R. at 3. The Gov‐
ernment argues that the Board has yet to consider its argument, accepted
by the IJ, that the prior statute applies and that Mr. Acquaah’s fraud did
not occur in connection with an entry. It appears to us that the Board de‐
cided to apply the present version of the statute. The Government does
not ask us to reverse the Board on that ground, and we consider it law of
the case. Our analysis here focuses, therefore, on the correctness of the
Board’s subsequent decision on the scope of the waiver as it relates to the
termination of conditional residency. Following the Board’s lead, and be‐
cause we have not been asked to do otherwise, we consider the current
version of the statute.
are inadmissible at the time of entry or have violated their sta‐
tus. Among those classes are aliens who were excludable or
inadmissible at the time of entry or admission, 8 U.S.C.
§ 1227(a)(1)(A), as well as aliens who had permanent resi‐
dency on a conditional basis, but whose status was termi‐
nated, id. § 1227(a)(1)(D).
The language at the center of the parties’ dispute author‐
izes a waiver of certain “provisions” of paragraph (1) “for cer‐
tain misrepresentations.” 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(H). We agree
with our colleagues in the Ninth Circuit that the use of the
plural “provisions” is significant, and indicates a congres‐
sional intent to encompass more than a single category listed
in § 1227(a)(1). Vasquez, 602 F.3d at 1011.
The term “provisions” is not unqualified, however. The
waiver applies only to those provisions of § 1227(a)(1) which
“relat[e] to the removal of aliens … on the ground that they
were inadmissible at the time of admission” because of fraud.
The Supreme Court recently has reaffirmed that, absent con‐
trary indications from context, the term “relating to” is “broad
and indeterminate.” Mellouli v. Lynch, 135 S. Ct. 1980, 1990
(2015) (internal quotation marks omitted) (narrowing the
meaning of the term in a removal statute consistent with a
subsequent cross‐reference in the statute). The Ninth Circuit
has read this language, therefore, as covering both
§ 1227(a)(1)(A), “which provides for the removal of aliens on
the ground that they were inadmissible at the time of admis‐
sion, including aliens who sought to procure admission by
fraud,” and “also any other provisions of paragraph
(a)(1) bearing on or connected to the removal of aliens
on that ground.” Vasquez, 602 F.3d at 1012.
At his final hearing, Mr. Acquaah faced two charges of de‐
portability. The first, lodged by the Government in 1992,17
On June 25, 1991, your status as a permanent
resident on a condition[al] basis was terminated
under 8 USC 1186(c)(3)(C) because the marriage
which qualified you for status was determined
to have been entered into for the sole purpose of
procuring your entry as an immigrant.
When the Government sought to reopen proceedings upon
discovery of his second identity, it lodged a second charge,
that he was deportable under
INA s. 212(a)(6)(C), as an alien who by fraud or
willful misrepresentation of a material fact
sought to procure (or has sought to procure or
has procured) a visa or other documentation or
other benefit under the Act.
The IJ found only the first of these charges, relating to the ter‐
mination of conditional residency, sustained. The question
17 The initial charge by the Government in 1991 was termination of condi‐
tional residency for failure to file a joint petition, which was incorrect. The
Government amended its charge in 1992 to include marriage fraud.
18 A.R. at 364.
19 Id. at 329. The IJ subsequently further amended this charge by hand‐
written note, noting that the correct provision of the INA under the prior
law was 212(a)(19). See id.
before us is whether that charge is “relat[ed] to,” that is, con‐
nected with or bearing upon, a charge that the alien was in‐
admissible at the time of admission by virtue of fraud.
In Mr. Acquaah’s case, the Board treated the specific stat‐
utory charge that the Government decided to lodge and prove
as dispositive of whether the waiver is available. This ap‐
proach is plainly inconsistent with the statute.20 The Board
should have considered whether the charge sustained against
Mr. Acquaah is related to fraud, and we remand to the agency
to make that determination in the first instance.
Should the Board determine that the sustained charge is
related to a waivable fraud under § 1227(a)(1)(H), it is again
for the agency to determine, in the first instance, whether the
20 The Ninth Circuit considered a similar question in Vasquez v. Holder, 602
F.3d 1003, 1015 (9th Cir. 2010). It observed that, “when the Department
finds that a conditional permanent resident has committed marriage fraud
and charges her with removability on the ground that she was inadmissi‐
ble at the time of admission as an alien who sought to procure admission
by fraud, it will also be able to charge her as removable because her status
has been terminated.” Id. at 1014. Because the fraudulent conduct pro‐
vided a common basis for both grounds of removability, the termination
of conditional residency was “relat[ed] to” the inadmissibility at the time
of entry, and, therefore, the petitioner was eligible for a fraud waiver un‐
der § 1227(a)(1)(H). Id. at 1017.
In the petition now before us, the Government rests principally on
waiver, see supra at 14–15, and therefore declines to address Vasquez on the
merits other than to assert that the decision has “not been adopted by the
Circuit.” Gov’t Br. 18. The Government does refer to one of our un‐
published opinions, Rodas de Linarez v. Holder, 442 F. App’x 233 (7th Cir.
2011). But in Rodas, we merely distinguished its facts from those in Vasquez;
we took no position on whether Vasquez was correctly decided.
substantial equities in Mr. Acquaah’s case merit an exercise of
favorable discretion. Those equities include, but are not lim‐
ited to, the severe health issues of his United States citizen
daughter, for whom he is the only surviving parent. See I.N.S.
v. Errico, 385 U.S. 214, 224–25 (1966) (fraud waiver provision
was legislated with the “humanitarian purpose of preventing
the breaking up of families composed in part at least of Amer‐
Mr. Acquaah also contends that the IJ’s decision to readju‐
dicate the bona fides of his marriage to Collins “was a gross
miscarriage of justice.”21 Although his brief continues to as‐
sert that his marriage to Collins was bona fide, his primary
objection is procedural; he claims the IJ did not have the au‐
thority to readjudicate the facts of this case on the new evi‐
dence submitted by the Government in connection with the
motion to reopen. We cannot agree. The regulations not only
permit reopening and reconsideration by either party, but are
particularly broad when the agency seeks to introduce new
evidence of fraud in the initial proceeding. See 8 C.F.R.
§ 1003.23(b)(1) (“In general. An Immigration Judge may upon
his or her own motion at any time, or upon motion of the Ser‐
vice or the alien, reopen or reconsider any case in which he or
she has made a decision, unless jurisdiction is vested with the
Board of Immigration Appeals.”); id. (noting that no time lim‐
itations apply “to motions by the Service in exclusion or de‐
portation proceedings, when the basis of the motion is fraud
in the original proceeding”); id. § 1003.23(b)(3) (“Motion to re‐
open. A motion to reopen proceedings shall state the new facts
that will be proven at a hearing to be held if the motion is
21 Pet’r’s Br. 17.
granted and shall be supported by affidavits and other evi‐
dentiary material.” (emphasis added)). The express purpose
of reopening is to allow the agency to reexamine the issues
and reach new conclusions on the basis of new evidence.
The Board erred when it treated the absence of a specific
fraud charge as dispositive over the availability of a fraud
waiver under § 1227(a)(1)(H). It should have considered
whether the charge sustained against Mr. Acquaah—termina‐
tion of conditional resident status on the basis of his marriage
to Sharon Collins—was related to fraud. We therefore remand
to the Board to address this question, as well as any necessary
questions relating to the discretionary grant of such relief.
PETITION FOR REVIEW GRANTED in part
and DENIED in part.
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