PETITION FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION
Hykel and Renee Hykel Cuddy on brief for petitioners.
C. Mizer, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil
Division, Derek C. Julius, Senior Litigation Counsel, Office
of Immigration Litigation, and Katherine A. Smith, Trial
Attorney, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division,
U.S. Department of Justice, on brief for respondent.
Lynch, Thompson, and Barron, Circuit Judges.
and Shaileshkumar Pandit (" the Pandits" ) have
petitioned this Court for review of the denial by the Board
of Immigration Appeals (" BIA" ) of the
Pandits' motion to re-open removal proceedings. As we
conclude the BIA acted within its discretion, we deny the
Pandits are natives and citizens of India who have lived as
nonpermanent residents of the United States for the past 21
years. They reside in Massachusetts with their 19-year-old
daughter, Pooja, who is a United States citizen.
November 2, 2009, the Department of Homeland Security began
removal proceedings against the Pandits on the grounds that
they had arrived in the United States without a valid entry
document, see 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(7)(A)(i)(I), and that
they were present in the United States without being "
admitted," see 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(A)(i). The
Pandits conceded removability on the former ground, but they
sought cancellation of removal pursuant to Section 240A(b) of
the Immigration and Nationality Act (" INA" ). That
section, codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b), grants the
Attorney General discretion to cancel the removal of an alien
if the alien satisfies four statutory criteria.
Pandits argued in their applications to the Immigration Judge
(" IJ" ) that they were entitled to cancellation of
removal because they: (A) " ha[d] been physically
present in the United States for a continuous period of not
less than 10 years immediately preceding the date of [their]
application" ; (B) " ha[d] been  person[s] of
good moral character during such period" ; (C) "
ha[d] not been convicted of" a qualifying offense; and
(D) could " establish that removal would result in
exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to" a "
spouse, parent, or child who [wa]s a citizen of the United
States" : their daughter, Pooja. 8 U.S.C. §
prove that Pooja would suffer " exceptional and
extremely unusual hardship" if the Pandits were removed
from the United States, the Pandits contended that Pooja
could not live in the United States without her parents and
would thus be forced to move back to India with them if they
were deported. They further expressed concerns that Pooja
" would face difficulties acclimating to the different
educational and cultural system in India," as she had
only limited knowledge of the Gujarati language and because,
they contended, India's cultural norms surrounding
women's role in society differed from those in the United
States. In addition, Pooja herself testified that she would
not be able to adjust to a life in India. She specifically
testified that she had become sick on each of her prior
visits to India as a result of the food and the weather and
that she had once been hospitalized for four hours.
October 17, 2013, the IJ denied the Pandits' application
to cancel removal. The IJ found that the Pandits met two of
the statutory criteria, because they had been "
physically present in the United States for a continuous
period of not less than 10 years" and they had not been
convicted of any qualifying crimes under the INA. See id.
§ 1229b(b)(1)(A), (C). But the IJ also found that the
Pandits had failed to show that their removal would result in
" exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" to
further determined that, even if the Pandits had met all of
the statutory criteria, they would not " merit a
favorable exercise of discretion" under the INA, see id.
§ 1229a(c)(4)(A)(ii) because they had " engaged in
fraud repeatedly in order to gain immigration benefits."
Besides their initial illegal entry, the IJ found, the
Pandits had each entered into (separate) fraudulent marriages
for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits. According
to the IJ, Mr. Pandit's fraudulent marriage lasted for
almost two years, and Mrs. Pandit's lasted for almost six
years. And the IJ further found that a family friend of the
Pandits, Vasant Shah, filed a fraudulent labor certification
on behalf of Mr. Pandit and " at least one fraudulent
employment visa petition" on behalf of Mrs. Pandit.
Those " negative factors," the IJ concluded,
outweighed the positive factors -- such as the Pandits'
presence in the country for over sixteen years and their
status as business owners and " prominent members of
Pandits appealed the decision of the IJ to the BIA, but their
appeal was denied on July 2, 2014. The BIA " agree[d]
with the Immigration Judge that the [Pandits] did not show
that their removal would result in ...