(CN) - A Mexican immigrant who claimed that his felony drunk-driving conviction is no longer a deportable offense lost his bid to have his case reopened. The motion to reopen was "unquestionably time-barred," the 7th Circuit ruled, as it was filed more than six years late.
Manuel Antonio Munoz de Real said his 2001 conviction was no longer a proper basis for removal, according to intervening developments in the law.
But the immigration judge said she lacked jurisdiction to reopen his case, because Munoz de Real had already left the country.
Both the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Chicago-based federal appeals court affirmed, though the 7th Circuit based its ruling on the filing deadline.
"This court need not determine the effect of the departure bar in this case," wrote U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly, sitting by designation on the three-judge panel. "The reason is that Munoz de Real's motion to reopen was time-barred."
Munoz de Real had 90 days to file, but waited more than six years.
"Munoz de Real has offered no basis to excuse a six-plus year delay in moving to reopen," Kennelly concluded.