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SOHNA v. BARR (2020)

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United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

Claire Ngo SOHNA, Petitioner, v. William P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent.

No. 19-1996

Decided: March 27, 2020

Before WILKINSON, FLOYD, and RUSHING, Circuit Judges. Linda A. Dominguez, L A DOMINGUEZ LAW, LLC, Baltimore, Maryland, for Petitioner. Joseph H. Hunt, Assistant Attorney General, Anthony C. Payne, Assistant Director, Joseph D. Hardy, Civil Division, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent.

Claire Ngo Sohna, a native and citizen of Cameroon, petitions for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“Board”) dismissing her appeal from the immigration judge’s decision denying her motion to reopen. We deny the petition.

We review the denial of a motion to reopen for abuse of discretion. 8 C.F.R. § 1003.23(b)(3) (2019); INS v. Doherty, 502 U.S. 314, 323-24, 112 S.Ct. 719, 116 L.Ed.2d 823 (1992); Mosere v. Mukasey, 552 F.3d 397, 400 (4th Cir. 2009). The “denial of a motion to reopen is reviewed with extreme deference, given that motions to reopen are disfavored because every delay works to the advantage of the deportable alien who wishes merely to remain in the United States.” Sadhvani v. Holder, 596 F.3d 180, 182 (4th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). We will reverse a denial of a motion to reopen only if it is “arbitrary, irrational, or contrary to law.” Mosere, 552 F.3d at 400 (internal quotation marks omitted).

In order to demonstrate ineffective assistance of counsel that warrants reopening, Sohna must show that she was prejudiced by counsel’s conduct. See In re Lozada, 19 I. & N. Dec. 637, 640 (B.I.A. 1988). Upon our review of the Board’s order and the record, we find nothing that undermines the Board’s findings that Sohna did not demonstrate prejudice or that she diligently pursued her rights. Accordingly, we deny the petition for review. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.



Petition denied by unpublished per curiam opinion. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.

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