Immigrant Smuggler Loses Removal Appeal

     (CN) – A Mexican citizen living legally in the United States lost his bid to halt his deportation for trying to smuggle two illegal immigrants into the country. The 7th Circuit denied his petition for review, saying he’d been given a “full and fair” opportunity to present his case.

     Raul Barradas was stopped at the U.S-Mexico border in 2005 at Hildago, Texas, after border officials grew suspicious of the birth certificates for two children in the van, who were listed as “Nicole Lynne Leighty” and “Jacob Brian Leighty.”
     Barradas later admitted to an immigration judge that the two were his friend’s children, and he had agreed to help them across the border for $2,000.
     The immigration judge found Barradas guilty of smuggling illegal immigrants and ordered him deported.
Barradas appealed, changing his story. He claimed he thought the children were U.S. citizens and said he had pleaded guilty because he saw no other choice.
     His arguments swayed neither the Board of Immigration Appeals nor the federal appeals court in Chicago, which affirmed the judge’s ruling.
     The 7th Circuit rejected Barradas’ claim that the government lacked the evidence to deport him, because it had misplaced the records of his guilty plea and conviction. Judge Tinder pointed out that the government still had his criminal complaint, which was enough to justify deportation.
     Barradas insisted that he was denied the chance to cross-examine the police officer who filed his report. The 7th Circuit called the officer’s records “inherently trustworthy” and noted that Barradas never disputed the information they contained.
     The court also tossed his claim that the government denied him due process by forcing him to testify and then grilling him on the stand.
     The three-judge panel denied his petition for review.

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