Argued: October 31, 2016
Petition for Review from the Board of Immigration Appeals
for review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals
affirming the decision of an Immigration Judge finding
petitioner ineligible for derivative citizenship and denying
his motion to terminate removal proceedings.
E. Bardavid, New York, New York, for Petitioner.
M. Damiano, Trial Attorney, Terri J. Scadron, Assistant
Director, Office of Immigration Litigation, Benjamin C.
Mizer, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil
Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington,
D.C., for Respondent.
Before: Walker, Hall, and Chin, Circuit Judges.
July Rafael Bueno Gil ("Gil") seeks review of a
September 10, 2015 decision of the Board of Immigration
Appeals ("BIA") affirming the decision of an
Immigration Judge ("IJ") finding him ineligible for
derivative citizenship and denying his motion to terminate
removal proceedings. Gil was born in the Dominican Republic
and was admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent
resident. His parents never married. Gil contends that he
became a U.S. citizen derivatively when his father was
naturalized in 1980, when Gil was eleven years old. The IJ
and the BIA determined that Gil was not a "child"
eligible for derivative citizenship because he was not
"legitimated" within the meaning of the Immigration
and Nationality Act (the "INA"). We agree and,
accordingly, we dismiss the petition for review.
facts are undisputed. Gil was born out of wedlock on December
6, 1968 in the Dominican Republic to two Dominican citizens.
His parents never married. In December 1974, his father
appeared before a State Civil Official of the National
District of the Dominican Republic, publicly acknowledged Gil
as his biological son, and declared paternity over him.
Gil's mother died in January 1976. Gil entered the United
States in February 1978, when he was nine years old, as a
lawful permanent resident and lived with his father.
father became a naturalized U.S. citizen in November 1980,
when Gil was eleven years old. Gil thereafter received a
Certificate of Citizenship on the basis that he derived
citizenship as a result of his father's naturalization.
convicted in New York state court of first-degree robbery in
January 1987 and was convicted in federal court of a
controlled substance offense in August 1995. In September
2010, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
("USCIS") determined that Gil's Certificate of
Citizenship was unlawfully or fraudulently obtained because
he was not a qualifying "child" under the INA's
requirements for derivative citizenship and, as a result, it
canceled his Certificate of Citizenship. The Department of
Homeland Security instituted removal proceedings, served Gil
with a Notice to Appear, and charged him as an alien
removable under sections 237(a)(2)(A)(iii) and (B)(i) of the
INA, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) and (B)(i),
based on his convictions.
November 18, 2013, the IJ rejected Gil's claim to
derivative citizenship through his father's
naturalization on the basis that Gil did not
"legitimate" under Dominican or New York law before
reaching the age specified in the INA. The IJ found him
removable as charged, denied his motion to terminate the
removal proceedings, and ordered him removed to the Dominican
Republic. On September 10, 2015, the BIA agreed that Gil did
not become a legitimated child before turning sixteen years
old, affirmed the IJ's ...