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AGGRAVATED FELONIES (CASE LAW)

AGGRAVATED FELONIES BIA CASE LAW

Accessory After the Fact

Matter of Batista, 21 I&N Dec. 955 (BIA 1997)

(1) The offense of accessory after the fact to a drug-trafficking crime, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3 (Supp. V 1993), is not considered an inchoate crime and is not sufficiently related to a controlled substance violation to support a finding of deportability pursuant to section 241(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(B)(i) (1994).

(2) The respondent’s conviction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3 establishes his deportability as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony under section 241(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act,because the offense of accessory after the fact falls within the definition of an obstruction of justice crime under section 101(a)(43)(S) of the Act, 8 U.S.C.A. §1101(a)(43)(S) (West Supp. 1997), and because the respondent’s sentence, regardless of any suspension of the imposition or execution of that sentence, “is at least one year.”

Alien Smuggling

Matter of Alvarado-Alvino, 22 I&N Dec. 718 (BIA 1999)

An alien convicted of an offense described in section 275(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1325 (Supp. II 1996), is not convicted of an aggravated felony as that term is defined in section 101(a)(43)(N) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(N) (Supp. II 1996), which specifically refers to those offenses relating to alien smuggling described in sections 274(a)(1)(A) and (2) of the Act, 8U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A) and (2) (Supp. II 1996).

Arson

Matter of Bautista, 25 I&N Dec. 616 (BIA 2011)

Attempted arson in the third degree in violation of sections 110 and 150.10 of the New York Penal Law is an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(E)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(E)(i) (2006), even though the State crime lacks the jurisdictional element in the applicable Federal arson offense. Matter of Vasquez-Muniz, 23 I&N Dec. 207 (BIA 2002), followed.

Matter of Palacios, 22 I&N Dec. 434 (BIA 1998)

An alien who was convicted of arson in the first degree under the law of Alaska and sentenced to 7 years’ imprisonment with 3 years suspended was convicted of a “crime of violence” within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(F) (Supp. II 1996), and therefore is deportable under section 237(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. §1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) (Supp. II 1996), as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony.

Burglary

Matter of Perez, 22 I&N Dec. 1325 (BIA 2000) (Burglary of a Vehicle)

The offense of burglary of a vehicle in violation of section 30.04(a) of the Texas Penal Code Annotated is not a “burglary offense” within the definition of an aggravated felony in section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(G) (Supp. IV 1998).

Commercial Bribery

Matter of Gruenangerl, 25 I&N Dec. 351 (BIA 2010)

The crime of bribery of a public official in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 201(b)(1)(A) (2006) is not an offense “relating to” commercial bribery and is therefore not an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(R) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(R) (2006).

Conspiracy

Matter of Richardson, 25 I&N Dec. 226 (BIA 2010)

(1) The term “conspiracy” in section 101(a)(43)(U) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(U) (2006), is not limited to conspiracies that require the commission of an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy by one of the conspirators.

(2) An alien who was only convicted of conspiracy to commit an aggravated felony and is removable on the basis of that conviction under section 101(a)(43)(U) of the Act may not also be found removable for the underlying substantive offense, even though the record of conviction shows that the conspirators actually committed the substantive offense.

Controlled Substances

Matter of Ferreira, 26 I&N Dec. 415 (BIA 2014)

Where a State statute on its face covers a controlled substance not included in the Federal controlled substances schedules, there must be a realistic probability that the State would prosecute conduct under the statute that falls outside the generic definition of the removable offense to defeat a charge of removability under the categorical approach.

Matter of L-G-H-, 26 I&N Dec. 365 (BIA 2014)

Sale of a controlled substance in violation of section 893.13(1)(a)(1) of the Florida Statutes, which lacks a mens rea element with respect to the illicit nature of the substance but requires knowledge of its presence and includes an affirmative defense for ignorance of its unlawful nature, is an “illicit trafficking” aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(B) (2012).

Matter of Flores, 26 I&N Dec. 155 (BIA 2013)

The offense of traveling in interstate commerce with the intent to distribute the proceeds of an unlawful drug enterprise in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1952(a)(1)(A) (2006) is not an “aggravated felony” under section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(B) (2006), because it is neither a “drug trafficking crime” under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (2006) nor “illicit trafficking in a controlled substance.” Matter of Davis, 20 I&N Dec. 536 (BIA 1992), followed.

Matter of Castro-Rodriguez, 25 I&N Dec. 698 (BIA 2012)

An alien convicted of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute under State law has the burden to show that the offense is not an aggravated felony because it involved a “small amount of marihuana for no remuneration” within the meaning of 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(4) (2006), which the alien may establish by presenting evidence outside of the record of conviction. Matter of Aruna, 24 I&N Dec. 452 (BIA 2008), clarified.

Matter of Sanchez-Cornejo, 25 I&N Dec. 273 (BIA 2010)

The offense of delivery of a simulated controlled substance in violation of Texas law is not an aggravated felony, as defined by section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(B) (2006), but it is a violation of a law relating to a controlled substance under former section 241(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(B)(i) (1994).

Matter of Aruna, 24 I&N Dec. 452 (BIA 2008)

Absent controlling precedent to the contrary, a State law misdemeanor offense ofconspiracy to distribute marijuana qualifies as an “aggravated felony” under section>101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(B) (2000),where its elements correspond to the elements of the Federal felony offense of conspiracy to distribute an indeterminate quantity of marijuana, as defined by 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(D), and 846 (2000 & Supp. IV 2004).

Matter of Thomas, 24 I&N Dec. 416 (BIA 2007)

The respondent’s 2003 Florida offense involving the simple possession of marijuana does not qualify as an “aggravated felony” by virtue of its correspondence to the Federal felony of “recidivist possession,” even though it was committed after a prior “conviction” for a “drug, narcotic, or chemical offense” became “final” within the meaning of 21 U.S.C. § 844(a) (2000), because the respondent’s conviction for that 2003 offense did not arise from a State proceeding in which his status as a recidivist drug offender was either admitted or determined by a judge or jury.Matter of Carachuri-Rosendo, 24 I&N Dec. 382 (BIA 2007), followed.

Matter of Carachuri-Rosendo, 24 I&N Dec. 382 (BIA 2007)

(1) Decisional authority from the Supreme Court and the controlling Federal circuit court of appeals is determinative of whether a State drug offense constitutes an “aggravated felony” under section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101(a)(43)(B) (2000), by virtue of its correspondence to the Federal felony offense of “recidivist possession,” as defined by 21 U.S.C. § 844(a) (2000).Matter of Yanez, 23 I&N Dec. 390 (BIA 2002), followed.

(2) Controlling precedent of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dictates that the respondent’’s Texas conviction for alprazolam possession qualifies as an “aggravated felony” conviction by virtue of the fact that the underlying alprazolam possession offense was committed after the respondent’s prior State “conviction” for a “drug, narcotic, or chemical offense” became “final” within the meaning of 21 U.S.C. § 844(a).

(3) Absent controlling authority regarding the “recidivist possession” issue, an alien’s State conviction for simple possession of a controlled substance will not be considered an aggravated felony conviction on the basis of recidivism unless the alien’’s status as a recidivist drug offender was either admitted by the alien or determined by a judge or jury in connection with a prosecution for that simple possession offense.

Matter of L-G-, 21 I&N Dec. 89 (BIA 1995) (modified byMatter of Yanez, 23 I&N Dec. 390 (BIA 2002)**

(1) A federal definition applies to determine whether or not a crime is a “felony” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(2) (1994), and therefore is an “aggravated felony” under section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43) (Supp. V 1993).

(2) For immigration purposes, a state drug offense qualifies as a “drug trafficking crime” under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(2) if it is punishable as a felony under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 951 et seq.), or the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act (46 U.S.C. App. 1901 et seq.).Matter of Davis, 20 I&N Dec. 536 (BIA 1992), andMatter of Barrett, 20 I&N Dec. 171 (BIA 1990), reaffirmed.

(3) Although we disagree with the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit inJenkins v. INS, 32 F.3d 11 (2d Cir. 1994), which holds that an alien’s state conviction for a drug offense that is a felony under state law, but a misdemeanor under federal law, qualifies as a conviction for an aggravated felony, we will follow this decision in matters arising within the Second Circuit’s jurisdiction.

Matter of K-V-D-, 22 I&N Dec. 1163 (BIA 1999) (overruled byMatter of Yanez, 23 I&N Dec. 390 (BIA 2002)**

(1) Where a circuit court of appeals has interpreted the definition of an “aggravated felony” under section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43) ( 1994), only for purposes of criminal sentence enhancement, the Board of Immigration Appeals may interpret the phrase differently for purposes of implementing the immigration laws in cases arising within that circuit.

(2) An alien convicted in Texas of simple possession of a controlled substance, which would be a felony under Texas law but a misdemeanor under federal law, is not convicted of an aggravated felony within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Act.Matter of L-G-, 21 I&N Dec. 89 (BIA 1995), affirmed.Matter of Yanez, 23 I&N Dec. 390 (BIA 2002)

The determination whether a state drug offense constitutes a “drug trafficking crime” under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(2) (2000), such that it may be considered an “aggravated felony” under section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(B) (2000), shall be made by reference to decisional authority from the federal circuit courts of appeals, and not by reference to any separate legal standard adopted by the Board of Immigration Appeals.Matter of K-V-D-, 22 I&N Dec. 1163 (BIA 1999), overruled.Matter of L-G-, 21 I&N Dec. 89 (BIA 1995), andMatter of Davis, 20 I&N Dec. 536 (BIA 1992), modified.

Matter of Santos-Lopez, 23 I&N Dec. 419 (BIA 2002)

(1) Under the decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit inUnited States v. Hernandez-Avalos, 251F.3d 505 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 122S.Ct. 305 (2001), andUnited States v. Hinojosa-Lopez, 130F.3d 691 (5th Cir. 1997), a determination whether an offense is a “felony” for purposes of 18U.S.C. §924(c)(2) (2000) depends on the classification of the offense under the law of the convicting jurisdiction.Matter of Yanez, 23I&N Dec. 390 (BIA 2002), followed.

(2) Each of the respondent’s two convictions for possession of marihuana is classified as a misdemeanor offense under Texas law; therefore, neither conviction is for a “felony” within the meaning of 18U.S.C. §924(c)(2) or an “aggravated felony” within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(B) (2000).

Matter of Elgendi, 23 I&N Dec. 515 (BIA 2002)

In accordance with authoritative precedent of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit inUnited States v. Pornes-Garcia, 171 F.3d 142 (2d Cir. 1999), andUnited States v. Polanco, 29 F.3d 35 (2d Cir. 1994), an individual who has been convicted twice of misdemeanor possession of marijuana in violation of New York State law has not been convicted of an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43)(B) (2000).

Crimes of Violence

Matter of KIM, 26 I&N Dec. 912 (BIA 2017)

The crime of mayhem in violation of section 203 of the California Penal Code, which requires a malicious act that results in great bodily injury to another person, necessarily involves the use of violent force and is therefore categorically a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(a) (2012).

Matter of Guzman-Polanco, 26 I&N Dec. 806 (BIA 2016)

The crime of aggravated battery in violation of the Puerto Rico Penal Code is not categorically a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(a) (2012), but controlling circuit court law should be followed regarding the question whether conduct such as the use or threatened use of poison to injure another person involves sufficient “force” to constitute a crime of violence. Matter of Guzman-Polanco, 26 I&N Dec. 713 (BIA 2016), clarified.

Matter of H. Estrada, 26 I&N Dec. 749 (BIA 2016)

(1) In analyzing whether a conviction is for a crime of domestic violence under section 237(a)(2)(E)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(E)(i) (2012), the circumstance-specific approach is properly applied to determine the domestic nature of the offense.

(2) Where the respondent’s original sentence for his Georgia conviction was ambiguous as to whether he was sentenced to probation or a probated term of imprisonment, a clarification order issued by the sentencing judge to correct an obvious discrepancy in her original order will be given effect in determining whether the respondent was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of at least 1 year.

Matter of Guzman-Polanco, 26 I&N Dec. 713 (BIA 2016)

(1)  For a State offense to qualify as a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(a) (2012), the State statute must require as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of violent physical force.  Matter of Martin, 23 I&N Dec. 491 (BIA 2002), withdrawn.

(2)  The crime of aggravated battery under the Puerto Rico Penal Code, which may be committed by means that do not require the use of violent physical force, is not categorically a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(a).

Matter of Calvillo-Garcia, 26 I&N Dec. 697 (BIA 2015)

A term of confinement in a substance abuse treatment facility imposed as a condition of probation pursuant to article 42.12, section 14(a) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure constitutes a “term of confinement” under section 101(a)(48)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(48)(B) (2012), for purposes of determining if an offense is a crime of violence under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Act.

Matter of Francisco-Alonzo, 26 I&N Dec. 594 (BIA 2015)

In determining whether a conviction is for an aggravated felony crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) (2012), the proper inquiry is whether the conduct encompassed by the elements of the offense presents a substantial risk that physical force may be used in the course of committing the offense in the “ordinary case.

Matter of Tavarez-Peralta, 26 I&N Dec. 171 (BIA 2013)

(1) An alien convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. § 32(a)(5) (2006), who interfered with a police helicopter pilot by shining a laser light into the pilot’s eyes while he operated the helicopter, is removable under section 237(a)(4)(A)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(4)(A)(ii) (2006), as an alien who has engaged in criminal activity that endangers public safety.

(2) A violation of 18 U.S.C. § 32(a)(5) is not a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16 (2006).

Matter of U. Singh, 25 I&N Dec. 670 (BIA 2012)

(1) A decision by a Federal court of appeals reversing a precedent decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals is not binding authority outside the circuit in which the case arises.

(2) A stalking offense for harassing conduct in violation of section 646.9(b) of the California Penal Code is a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) (2006) and is therefore an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (2006). Matter of Malta, 23 I&N Dec. 656 (BIA 2004), reaffirmed. Malta-Espinoza v. Gonzales, 478 F.3d 1080 (9th Cir. 2007), followed in jurisdiction only.

Matter of Guerrero, 25 I&N Dec. 631 (BIA 2011)

(1) Because solicitation to commit a “crime of violence” is itself a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) (2006), a felony conviction for solicitation to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in violation of section 11-1-9 of the General Laws of Rhode Island is for a crime of violence and therefore an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (2006), where a sentence of 1 year or more has been imposed.

(2) The offense of solicitation is not an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(U) of the Act because it is not an attempt or conspiracy.

Matter of Ramon Martinez, 25 I&N Dec. 571 (BIA 2011)

A violation of section 220 of the California Penal Code is categorically a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. §§ 16(a) and (b) (2006).

Matter of Perez-Ramirez, 25 I&N Dec. 203 (BIA 2010)

(1) Where a criminal alien’s sentence has been modified to include a term of imprisonment following a violation of probation, the resulting sentence to confinement is considered to be part of the penalty imposed for the original underlying crime, rather than punishment for a separate offense. (2) An alien’s misdemeanor conviction for willful infliction of corporal injury on a spouse in violation of section 273.5(a) of the California Penal Code qualifies categorically as a conviction for a “crime of violence” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 16(a) (2006).

Matter of Malta, 23 I&N Dec. 656 (BIA 2004)

A stalking offense for harassing conduct in violation of section 646.9(b) of the California Penal Code, which proscribes stalking when there is a temporary restraining order, injunction, or any other court order in effect prohibiting the stalking behavior, is a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) (2000), and is therefore an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (2000).

Matter of Vargas, 23 I&N Dec. 651 (BIA 2004)

The offense of manslaughter in the first degree in violation of section 125.20 of the New York Penal Law is a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 18(b) (2000) and is therefore an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (2000).

Matter of Martin, 23 I&N Dec. 491 (BIA 2002)

The offense of third-degree assault in violation of section 53a-61(a)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes, which involves the intentional infliction of physical injury upon another, is a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(a) (2000) and is therefore an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(F) (2000).

Matter of Magallanes, 22 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 1998) (Driving Under the Influence) (overruled by Matter of Ramos, 23 I&N Dec. 336 (BIA 2002)

An alien who was convicted of aggravated driving while under the influence and sentenced to 2½ years in prison was convicted of a “crime of violence” within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (to be codified at 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(F)), and therefore is deportable under section 241(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(A)(iii)(1994), as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony.

Matter of Puente, 22 I&N Dec. 1006 (BIA 1999) (Driving Under the Influence) (overruled by Matter of Ramos, 23 I&N Dec. 336 (BIA 2002)

A conviction for the crime of driving while intoxicated under section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code, which is a felony as a result of an enhanced punishment, is a conviction for a crime of violence and therefore an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (Supp. II 1996).

Matter of Ramos, 23 I&N Dec. 336 (BIA 2002)

(1) In cases arising in circuits where the federal court of appeals has not decided whether the offense of driving under the influence is a crime of violence under 18U.S.C. §16(b) (2000), an offense will be considered a crime of violence if it is committed at least recklessly and involves a substantial risk that the perpetrator may resort to the use of force to carry out the crime; otherwise, where the circuit court has ruled on the issue, the law of the circuit will be applied to cases arising in that jurisdiction.

(2) The offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor in violation of chapter 90, section 24(1)(a)(1) of the Massachusetts General Laws is not a felony that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense and is therefore not a crime of violence.Matter of Puente, 22 I&N Dec. 1006 (BIA 1999), andMatter of Magallanes, 22 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 1998), overruled.

Matter of Olivares, 23 I&N Dec. 148 (BIA 2001) (Driving Under the Influence)

UnderUnited States v. Chapa-Garza, 243 F.3d 921 (5th Cir. 2001), andUnited States v. Hernandez-Avalos, 251 F.3d 505 (5th Cir. 2001), a Texas conviction for felony DWI is not classifiable as a crime of violence conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) (1994) for purposes of removability in cases arising in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; accordingly, in cases arising in the Fifth Circuit,Matter of Puente, 22 I&N Dec. 1006 (BIA 1999), will not be applied.

Matter of Herrera, 23 I&N Dec. 43 (BIA 2001) (Driving Under the Influence)

Respondent’s motion for a stay of deportation, pending consideration of his simultaneously filed motion to reopen and reconsider, is granted in light of the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit inUnited States v. Chapa-Garza, 2001 WL 209468 (5th Cir. 2001), which held that a conviction for driving while intoxicated in violation of section 49.09 of the Texas Penal Code is not a conviction for a crime of violence under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (Supp. V 1999).

Matter of Sweetser, 22 I&N Dec. 709 (BIA 1999) (Criminally Negligent Child Abuse)

(1) Where the state statute under which an alien has been convicted is divisible, meaning it encompasses offenses that constitute crimes of violence as defined under 18 U.S.C. § 16 (1994) and offenses that do not, it is necessary to look to the record of conviction, and to other documents admissible as evidence in proving a criminal conviction, to determine whether the specific offense of which the alien was convicted constitutes an aggravated felony as defined in section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (Supp. II 1996).

(2) for purposes of determining whether an offense is a crime of violence as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 16(b), it is necessary to examine the criminal conduct required for conviction, rather than the consequence of the crime, to find if the offense, by its nature, involves “a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.”

(3) To find that a criminal offense is a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b), a causal link between the potential for harm and the “substantial risk” of “physical force” being used must be present.Matter of Magallanes, 22 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 1998), clarified.

(4) An alien convicted of criminally negligent child abuse under sections 18-6-401(1) and (7) of the Colorado Revised Statutes, whose negligence in leaving his stepson alone in a bathtub resulted in the child’s death, was not convicted of a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) because there was not substantial risk that physical force “would be used in the commission of the crime.”

Matter of Aldabesheh, 22 I&N Dec. 983 (BIA 1999) (Criminal Contempt and Forgery)

(1) A conviction for criminal contempt in the first degree, in violation of section 215.51(b)(i) of the New York Penal Law, with a sentence to imprisonment of at least 1 year, is a conviction for a crime of violence as defined under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) (1994), thus rendering it an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(F) (Supp. II 1996).

(2) A conviction for forgery in the second degree, in violation of section 170.10(2) of the New York Penal Law, with a sentence to imprisonment of at least 1 year, is a conviction for an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(R) of the Act.

(3) Where an alien has been convicted of two or more aggravated felonies and has received concurrent sentences to imprisonment, the alien’s “aggregate term of imprisonment,” for purposes of determining eligibility for withholding of removal under section 241(b)(3) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. §1231(b)(3) (Supp. II 1996), is equal to the length of the alien’s longest concurrent sentence.

Date of Conviction

Matter of Truon, 22 I&N Dec. 1090 (BIA 1999)

(1) An alien whose June 8, 1987, conviction for second degree robbery was not, at the time of his conviction, included in the aggravated felony definition was not deportable, even after that offense was included in the aggravated felony definition as a crime of violence under the Immigration Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-649, 104 Stat. 4978, due to its provisions regarding effective dates; however, the alien became deportable upon enactment of section 321(b) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Division C of Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-546, 3009-628 (enacted Sept. 30, 1996) (“IIRIRA”), because that section established an aggravated felony definition that is to be applied without temporal limitations, regardless of the date of conviction.

(2) The term “actions taken” in section 321(c) of the IIRIRA, 110 Stat. at 3009-628, which limits the applicability of the aggravated felony definition of section 321(b), includes consideration of a case by the Board of Immigration Appeals; therefore that section’s aggravated felony definition is applicable to cases decided by the Board on or after the IIRIRA’s September 30, 1996, enactment date.

(3) The Attorney General’s decision inMatter of Soriano, 21 I&N Dec. 516 (BIA 1996; A.G. 1997), remains binding on the Board, notwithstanding decisions in some courts of appeals that have rejected that decision.

Matter of Lettman, 22 I&N Dec. 365 (BIA 1998)

An alien convicted of an aggravated felony is subject to deportation regardless of the date of the conviction when the alien is placed in deportation proceedings on or after March 1, 1991, and the crime falls within the aggravated felony definition.

Divisible Statutes

Matter of Chairez-Castrejon, 27 I&N Dec. 21 (BIA 2017)

In determining whether a statute is divisible under Mathis v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2243 (2016), Immigration Judges may consider or “peek” at an alien’s conviction record only to discern whether statutory alternatives define “elements” or “means,” provided State law does not otherwise resolve the question.

Matter of Chairez, 26 I&N Dec. 819 (BIA 2016)

The respondent’s removability as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony was not established where section 76‑10‑508.1 of the Utah Code was not shown to be divisible with respect to the mens rea necessary for the offense to qualify as a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(a)(2012), based on the Supreme Court’s decisions in Mathis v.‍ United States, 136 S. Ct. 2243 (2016), and Descamps v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2276 (2013).  Matter of Chairez, 26 I&N Dec. 349 (BIA 2014), and Matter of Chairez, 26 I&N Dec. 478 (BIA 2015), clarified.

Matter of Chairez and Sama, 26 I&N Dec. 796 (A.G. 2016)

The Attorney General lifted the stay and remanded these cases to the Board of Immigration Appeals for appropriate action.

Matter of Chairez and Sama, 26 I&N Dec. 686 (A.G. 2015)

The Attorney General referred the decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals to herself for review of an issue relating to the application of Descamps v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2276 (2013), ordering that those cases be stayed and not be regarded as precedential or binding as to the issue under review during the pendency of her review.

Matter of Chairez, 26 I&N Dec. 349 (BIA 2014)

(1) The categorical approach, which requires a focus on the minimum conduct that has a realistic probability of being prosecuted under the statute of conviction, is employed to determine whether the respondent’s conviction for felony discharge of a firearm under section 76 10 508.1 of the Utah Code is for a crime of violence aggravated felony or a firearms offense under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Moncrieffe v. Holder, 133 S. Ct. 1678 (2013), followed.

(2) The Department of Homeland Security did not meet its burden of establishing the respondent’s removability as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony where it did not show that section 76-10-508.1 of the Utah Code was divisible with respect to the mens rea necessary to constitute a crime of violence. Descamps v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2276 (2013), followed. Matter of Lanferman, 25 I&N Dec. 721 (BIA 2012), withdrawn.

(3) Where the respondent did not demonstrate that he or anyone else was successfully prosecuted for discharging an “antique firearm” under section 76-10-508.1 of the Utah Code, which contains no exception for “antique firearms” as defined by 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(16) (2012), the statute was not shown to be categorically overbroad relative to section 237(a)(2)(C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(C) (2012). Matter of Mendez Orellana, 25 I&N Dec. 254 (BIA 2010), clarified.

Matter of Sweetser, 22 I&N Dec. 709 (BIA 1999)

(1) Where the state statute under which an alien has been convicted is divisible, meaning it encompasses offenses that constitute crimes of violence as defined under 18 U.S.C. § 16 (1994) and offenses that do not, it is necessary to look to the record of conviction, and to other documents admissible as evidence in proving a criminal conviction, to determine whether the specific offense of which the alien was convicted constitutes an aggravated felony as defined in section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (Supp. II 1996).

(2) For purposes of determining whether an offense is a crime of violence as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 16(b), it is necessary to examine the criminal conduct required for conviction, rather than the consequence of the crime, to find if the offense, by its nature, involves “a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.”

(3) To find that a criminal offense is a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b), a causal link between the potential for harm and the “substantial risk” of “physical force” being used must be present.Matter of Magallanes, 22 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 1998), clarified.

(4) An alien convicted of criminally negligent child abuse under sections 18-6-401(1) and (7) of the Colorado Revised Statutes, whose negligence in leaving his stepson alone in a bathtub resulted in the child’s death, was not convicted of a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) because there was not “substantial risk that physical force” would be used in the commission of the crime.

Failure to Appear/Felony Charge

Matter of Garza-Olivares, 26 I&N Dec. 736 (BIA 2016)

In assessing whether an offense qualifies as an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(T) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(T) (2012), the categorical approach applies to decide if the offense relates to an alien’s failure to appear before a court, but the circumstance-specific approach applies to determine if the failure to appear was (1) pursuant to a court order (2) to answer to or dispose of a charge of a felony (3) for which a sentence of 2 years’ imprisonment or more may be imposed.

Failure to Appear for Service of Sentence

Matter of Adeniye, 26 I&N Dec. 726 (BIA 2016)

An “offense relating to a failure to appear by a defendant for service of sentence” is an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(Q) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(Q) (2012), if the underlying offense was “punishable by” imprisonment for a term of 5 years or more, regardless of the penalty actually ordered or imposed.

Firearms

Matter of  Flores-Abarca, 26 I&N Dec. 992 (BIA 2017)

The crime of transporting a loaded firearm in violation of title 21, section 1289.13 of the Oklahoma Statutes is categorically a firearms offense under section 237(a)(2)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(C) (2012), even though the term “transporting” is not included in the Act, because section 237(a)(2)(C) is broadly construed to encompass all types of firearms offenses.

Matter of Chairez, 26 I&N Dec. 478 (BIA 2015)

(1) With respect to aggravated felony convictions, Immigration Judges must follow the law of the circuit court of appeals in whose jurisdiction they sit in evaluating issues of divisibility, so the interpretation of Descamps reflected in Matter of Chairez, 26 I&N Dec. 349 (BIA 2014), applies only insofar as there is no controlling authority to the contrary in the relevant circuit.

(2) Because the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has taken an approach to divisibility different from that adopted in Matter of Chairez, the law of the Tenth Circuit must be followed in that circuit.

Matter of Chairez, 26 I&N Dec. 349 (BIA 2014)

(1) The categorical approach, which requires a focus on the minimum conduct that has a realistic probability of being prosecuted under the statute of conviction, is employed to determine whether the respondent’s conviction for felony discharge of a firearm under section 76 10 508.1 of the Utah Code is for a crime of violence aggravated felony or a firearms offense under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Moncrieffe v. Holder, 133 S. Ct. 1678 (2013), followed.

(2) The Department of Homeland Security did not meet its burden of establishing the respondent’s removability as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony where it did not show that section 76-10-508.1 of the Utah Code was divisible with respect to the mens rea necessary to constitute a crime of violence. Descamps v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2276 (2013), followed. Matter of Lanferman, 25 I&N Dec. 721 (BIA 2012), withdrawn.

(3) Where the respondent did not demonstrate that he or anyone else was successfully prosecuted for discharging an “antique firearm” under section 76-10-508.1 of the Utah Code, which contains no exception for “antique firearms” as defined by 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(16) (2012), the statute was not shown to be categorically overbroad relative to section 237(a)(2)(C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(C) (2012). Matter of Mendez Orellana, 25 I&N Dec. 254 (BIA 2010), clarified.

Matter of Oppedisano, 26 I&N Dec. 202 (BIA 2013)

The offense of unlawful possession of ammunition by a convicted felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) (2006) is an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(E)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(E)(ii) (2012).

Matter of Vasquez-Muniz, 22 I&N Dec. 1415 (BIA 2000) (overruled by Matter of Vasquez-Muniz, 23 I&N Dec. 207 (BIA 2002))

Possession of a firearm by a felon in violation of section 12021(a)(1) of the California Penal Code is not an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(E) (1994), because it is not an offense “described in” 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (1994).

Matter of Vasquez-Muniz, 23 I&N Dec. 207 (BIA 2002)

(1) An offense defined by state or foreign law may be classified as an aggravated felony as an offense “described in” a federal statute enumerated in section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43) (1994 & Supp. V 1999), even if it lacks the jurisdictional element of the federal statute.

(2) Possession of a firearm by a felon in violation of section 12021(a)(1) of the California Penal Code is an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(E)(ii) of the Act because it is “described in” 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (1994).Matter of Vasquez-Muniz, 22 I&N Dec. 1415 (BIA 2000), overruled.

Fraud and Deceit

Matter of S-I-K-, 24 I&N Dec. 324 (BIA 2007)

An alien convicted of conspiracy is removable as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony within the meaning of sections 101(a)(43)(M)(i) and (U) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101(a)(43)(M)(i) and (U) (2000), where the substantive crime that was the object of the conspiracy was an offense that involved “fraud or deceit” and where the potential loss to the victim or victims exceeded $10,000.

Matter of Babaisakov, 24 I&N Dec. 306 (BIA 2007)

(1) A single ground for removal may require proof of a conviction tied to the statutory elements of a criminal offense, as well as proof of an additional fact or facts that are not tied to the statutory elements of any such offense.

(2) When a removal charge depends on proof of both the elements leading to a conviction and some nonelement facts, the nonelement facts may be determined by means of evidence beyond the limited “record of conviction” that may be considered by courts employing the “categorical approach,” the “modified categorical approach,” or a comparable “divisibility analysis,” although the record of conviction may also be a suitable source of proof, depending on the circumstances.

(3) Section 101(a)(43)(M)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(M)(i) (2000), which defines the term “aggravated felony” to mean “an offense that involves fraud or deceit in which the loss to the victim or victims exceeds $10,000,” depends on proof of both a conviction having an element of fraud or deceit and the nonelement fact of a loss exceeding $10,000 that is tied to the conviction.

(4) Because the phrase “in which the loss to the victim or victims exceeds $10,000” is not tied to an element of the fraud or deceit offense, the loss determination is not subject to the limitations of the categorical approach, the modified categorical approach, or a divisibility analysis and may be proved by evidence outside the record of conviction, provided that the loss is still shown to relate to the conduct of which the person was convicted and, for removal purposes, is proven by clear and convincing evidence.

(5) The Immigration Judge erred in declining to consider a presentence investigation report as proof of victim loss because of his mistaken belief that he was restricted to consideration of the respondent’s record of conviction.

Matter of Onyido, 22 I&N Dec. 552 (BIA 1999)

An alien who was convicted of submitting a false claim with intent to defraud arising from an unsuccessful scheme to obtain $15,000 from an insurance company was convicted of an “attempt” to commit a fraud in which the loss to the victim exceeded $10,000 within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(U) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(U) (Supp. II 1996), and therefore is deportable under section 241(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act, 8U.S.C. §1251(a)(2)(A)(iii) (1994), as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony.

Jurisdictional Element

Matter of Bautista, 25 I&N Dec. 616 (BIA 2011)

Attempted arson in the third degree in violation of sections 110 and 150.10 of the New York Penal Law is an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(E)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(E)(i) (2006), even though the State crime lacks the jurisdictional element in the applicable Federal arson offense. Matter of Vasquez-Muniz, 23 I&N Dec. 207 (BIA 2002), followed.

Matter of Vasquez-Muniz, 22 I&N Dec. 1415 (BIA 2000) (overruled by Matter of Vasquez-Muniz, 23 I&N Dec. 207 (BIA 2002))

Possession of a firearm by a felon in violation of section 12021(a)(1) of the California Penal Code is not an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(E) (1994), because it is not an offense “described in” 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (1994).

Matter of Vasquez-Muniz, 23 I&N Dec. 207 (BIA 2002)

(1) An offense defined by state or foreign law may be classified as an aggravated felony as an offense “described in” a federal statute enumerated in section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43) (1994 & Supp. V 1999), even if it lacks the jurisdictional element of the federal statute.

(2) Possession of a firearm by a felon in violation of section 12021(a)(1) of the California Penal Code is an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(E)(ii) of the Act because it is “described in” 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (1994).Matter of Vasquez-Muniz, 22 I&N Dec. 1415 (BIA 2000), overruled.

Misprision of a Felony

Matter of Espinoza, 22 I&N Dec. 889 (BIA 1999)

A conviction for misprision of a felony under 18 U.S.C. § 4 (1994) does not constitute a conviction for an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(S) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(S) (Supp. II 1996), as an offense relating to obstruction of justice.Matter of Batista-Hernandez, 21 I&N Dec. 955 (BIA 1997), distinguished.

Murder

Matter of M-W-, 25 I&N Dec. 748 (BIA 2012)

Pursuant to the categorical approach, a conviction for the aggravated felony of murder, as defined in section 101(a)(43)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(A) (2006), includes a conviction for murder in violation of a statute requiring a showing that the perpetrator acted with extreme recklessness or a malignant heart, notwithstanding that the requisite mental state may have resulted from voluntary intoxication and that no intent to kill was established.

Obstruction of Justice

Matter of Batista, 21 I&N Dec. 955 (BIA 1997)

(1) The offense of accessory after the fact to a drug-trafficking crime, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3 (Supp. V 1993), is not considered an inchoate crime and is not sufficiently related to a controlled substance violation to support a finding of deportability pursuant to section 241(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(B)(i) (1994).

(2) The respondent’s conviction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3 establishes his deportability as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony under section 241(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act,because the offense of accessory after the fact falls within the definition of an obstruction of justice crime under section 101(a)(43)(S) of the Act, 8 U.S.C.A. §1101(a)(43)(S) (West Supp. 1997), and because the respondent’s sentence, regardless of any suspension of the imposition or execution of that sentence, “is at least one year.”

Perjury

Matter of ALVARADO26 I&N Dec. 895 (BIA 2016)

(1) The generic definition of “perjury” in section 101(a)(43)(S) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(S) (2012), requires that an offender make a material false statement knowingly or willfully while under oath or affirmation where an oath is authorized or required by law.

(2) The crime of perjury in violation of section 118(a) California Penal Code is categorically an offense relating to perjury under section 101(a)(43)(S) of the Act.

Matter of Martinez-Recinos, 23 I&N Dec. 175 (BIA 2001)

A conviction for perjury in violation of section 118(a) of the California Penal Code constitutes a conviction for an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(S) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(S) (Supp. V 1999).

Prostitution for Commercial Advantage

Matter of Gertsenshteyn, 24 I&N Dec. 111 (BIA 2007)

(1) The categorical approach to determining whether a criminal offense satisfies a particular ground of removal does not apply to the inquiry whether a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(a) was committed for “commercial advantage” and thus qualifies as an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(K)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(K)(ii) (2000), where “commercial advantage” is not an element of the offense and the evidence relating to that issue is not ordinarily likely to be found in the record of conviction.

(2) The respondent’s offense was committed for “commercial advantage” where it was evident from the record of proceeding, including the respondent’s testimony, that he knew that his employment activity was designed to create a profit for the prostitution business for which he worked.

Rape

Matter of B, -, 21 I&N Dec. 287 (BIA 1996)

The respondent’s conviction for second-degree rape under Article 27, section 463(a)(3) of the Annotated Code of Maryland, for which he was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, constitutes a “crime of violence” under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) (1994) and, hence, an “aggravated felony” under section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43) (1994).

Robbery

Matter of Truong, 22 I&N Dec. 1090 (BIA 1999)

(1) An alien whose June 8, 1987, conviction for second degree robbery was not, at the time of his conviction, included in the aggravated felony definition was not deportable, even after that offense was included in the aggravated felony definition as a crime of violence under the Immigration Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-649, 104 Stat. 4978, due to its provisions regarding effective dates; however, the alien became deportable upon enactment of section 321(b) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Division C of Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-546, 3009-628 (enacted Sept. 30, 1996) (“IIRIRA”), because that section established an aggravated felony definition that is to be applied without temporal limitations, regardless of the date of conviction.

(2) The term “actions taken” in section 321(c) of the IIRIRA, 110 Stat. at 3009-628, which limits the applicability of the aggravated felony definition of section 321(b), includes consideration of a case by the Board of Immigration Appeals; therefore that section’s aggravated felony definition is applicable to cases decided by the Board on or after the IIRIRA’s September 30, 1996, enactment date.

(3) The Attorney General’s decision inMatter of Soriano, 21 I&N Dec. 516 (BIA 1996; A.G. 1997), remains binding on the Board, notwithstanding decisions in some courts of appeals that have rejected that decision.

Section 212(h) Waivers

Matter of Michel, 21 I&N Dec. 1101 (BIA 1998)

(1) Pursuant to 62 Fed. Reg. 10,312, 10,369 (to be codified at 8 C.F.R. § 240.10(a)(1) (interim, effective Apr. 1, 1997), an Immigration Judge must ascertain whether an alien desires representation in removal proceedings.

(2) An alien who has not previously been admitted to the United States as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence is statutorily eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility under section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (to be codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1182(h)), despite his conviction for an aggravated felony.

Matter of Michel, 21 I&N Dec. 1101 (BIA 1998)

(1) Pursuant to 62 Fed. Reg. 10,312, 10,369 (to be codified at 8 C.F.R. § 240.10(a)(1) (interim, effective Apr. 1, 1997), an Immigration Judge must ascertain whether an alien desires representation in removal proceedings.

(2) An alien who has not previously been admitted to the United States as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence is statutorily eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility under section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (to be codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1182(h)), despite his conviction for an aggravated felony.

Matter of Pineda,, 21 I&N Dec. 1017 (BIA 1997)

(1) Section 348(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, enacted as Division C of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, and the Judiciary Appropriations Act for 1997, Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009, _____ (“IIRIRA”), enacted on September 30, 1996, amended section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(h) (1994), to add restrictions precluding a grant of a waiver to any alien admitted as a lawful permanent resident who either has been convicted of an aggravated felony since the date of admission or did not have 7 years of continuous residence prior to the initiation of immigration proceedings.

(2) Section 348(b) of the IIRIRA provides that the restrictions in the amendments to section 212(h) of the Act apply to aliens in exclusion or deportation proceedings as of September 30, 1996, unless a final order of deportation has been entered as of such date.

(3) An aggravated felon who had a final administrative order of deportation as of September 30, 1996, would be subject to the restrictions on eligibility for a section 212(h) waiver if his proceedings were thereafter reopened; therefore, his motion to reopen deportation proceedings to apply for adjustment of status in conjunction with a section 212(h) waiver was properly denied.

Sentence Enhancement

Matter of K-V-D-, 22 I&N Dec. 1163 (BIA 1999)

(1) Where a circuit court of appeals has interpreted the definition of an “aggravated felony” under section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43) ( 1994), only for purposes of criminal sentence enhancement, the Board of Immigration Appeals may interpret the phrase differently for purposes of implementing the immigration laws in cases arising within that circuit.

(2) An alien convicted in Texas of simple possession of a controlled substance, which would be a felony under Texas law but a misdemeanor under federal law, is not convicted of an aggravated felony within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Act.Matter of L-G-, 21 I&N Dec. 89 (BIA 1995), affirmed.

Sexual Abuse of a Minor

Matter of Esquivel-Quintana, 26 I&N Dec. 469 (BIA 2015)

(1) For a statutory rape offense that may include a 16- or 17-year-old victim to be categorically “sexual abuse of a minor” under section 101(a)(43)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(A) (2012), the statute must require a meaningful age differential between the victim and the perpetrator. Matter of Rodriguez Rodriguez, 22 I&N Dec. 991 (BIA 1999), and Matter of V F-D-, 23 I&N Dec. 859 (BIA 2006), clarified.

(2) The offense of unlawful intercourse with a minor in violation of section 261.5(c) of the California Penal Code, which requires that the minor victim be “more than three years younger” than the perpetrator, categorically constitutes “sexual abuse of a minor” and is therefore an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(A) of the Act.

Matter of V-F-D-, 23 I&N Dec. 859 (BIA 2006)

A victim of sexual abuse who is under the age of 18 is a “minor” for purposes of determining whether an alien has been convicted of sexual abuse of a minor within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101(a)(43)(A) (2000).

Matter of Small, 23 I&N Dec. 448 (BIA 2002)

A misdemeanor offense of sexual abuse of a minor constitutes an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(A) (2000).

Matter of Crammond, 23 I&N Dec. 38 (BIA 2001) (vacated byMatter of Crammond, 23 I&N Dec. 179 (BIA 2001))**

(1) A conviction for “murder, rape, or sexual abuse of a minor” must be for a felony offense in order for the crime to be considered an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(A) (Supp. V 1999).

(2) In determining whether a state conviction is for a felony offense for immigration purposes, the Board of Immigration Appeals applies the federal definition of a felony set forth at 18 U.S.C. § 3559(a)(5) (1994).

Matter of Rodriguez-Rodriguez, 22 I&N Dec. 991 (BIA 1999)

The offense of indecency with a child by exposure pursuant to section 21.11(a)(2) of the Texas Penal Code Annotated constitutes sexual abuse of a minor and is therefore an aggravated felony within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(A) (Supp. II 1996).

Sodomy by Force

Matter of Chavez-Alvarez, 26 I&N Dec. 274 (BIA 2014)

(1) Adjustment of status constitutes an “admission” for purposes of determining an alien’s removability under section 237(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) (2012), as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony “at any time after admission.” Matter of Rosas, 22 I&N Dec. 616 (BIA 1999), reaffirmed.

(2) An element listed in a specification in the Manual for Courts-Martial (“MCM”), which must be pled and proved beyond a reasonable doubt, is the functional equivalent of an “element” of a criminal offense for immigration purposes.

(3) The crime of sodomy by force in violation of article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. § 925 (2000), and the Punitive Articles of the MCM relating to sodomy, is a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16 (2012) within the definition of an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F)(2012).

Theft Offenses

Matter of DEANG, 27 I&N Dec. 57 (BIA 2017)

An essential element of an aggravated felony receipt of stolen property offense under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G) (2012), is that an offender must receive property with the “knowledge or belief” that it has been stolen, and this element excludes a mens rea equivalent to a “reason to believe.”

A conviction for receipt of a stolen motor vehicle under section 32-4-5 of the South Dakota Codified Laws categorically does not define an aggravated felony receipt of stolen property offense under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Act because it is indivisible with respect to the necessary mens rea and only requires, at a minimum, that an offender have a “reason to believe” that the vehicle received was stolen.

Matter of Alday-Dominguez, 27 I&N Dec. 48 (BIA 2017)

The aggravated felony receipt of stolen property provision in section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G) (2012), does not require that unlawfully received property be obtained by means of common law theft or larceny.

Matter of IBARRA26 I&N Dec. 809 (BIA 2016)

(1) A “theft offense” under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 101(a)(43)(G) (2012), which requires the taking of property “without consent,” includes extortionate takings, in which consent is coerced by the wrongful use of force, fear, or threats.

(2) Robbery by force or fear in violation of section 211 of the California Penal Code is categorically an aggravated felony theft offense under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Act.

Matter of Sierra, 26 I&N Dec. 288 (BIA 2014)

Under the law of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the offense of attempted possession of a stolen vehicle in violation of sections 193.330 and 205.273 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, which requires only a mental state of “reason to believe,” is not categorically an aggravated felony “theft offense (including receipt of stolen property)” under sections 101(a)(43)(G) and (U) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G) and (U) (2012).

Matter of CARDIEL, 25 I&N Dec. 12 (BIA 2009)

A conviction for receipt of stolen property under section 496(a) of the California Penal Code, with a sentence of imprisonment of at least 1 year, categorically qualifies as a receipt of stolen property aggravated felony conviction under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G) (2006).

Matter of Garcia-Madruga, 24 I&N Dec. 436 (BIA 2008)

(1) A “theft offense” within the definition of an aggravated felony in section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G) (2000), ordinarily requires the taking of, or exercise of control over, property without consent and with the criminal intent to deprive the owner of the rights and benefits of ownership, even if such deprivation is less than total or permanent.Matter of V-Z-S-, 22 I&N Dec. 1338 (BIA 2000), clarified.

(2) The respondent’s welfare fraud offense in violation of section 40-6-15 of the General Laws of Rhode Island is not a “theft offense” under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Act.

Matter of Bahta, 22 I&N Dec. 1381 (BIA 2000) (Possession of Stolen Property)

(1) The respondent’s conviction for attempted possession of stolen property, in violation of sections 193.330 and 205.275 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, is a conviction for an attempted “theft offense (including receipt of stolen property),” and therefore an aggravated felony, within the meaning of sections 101(a)(43)(G) and (U) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101(a)(43)(G) and (U) (Supp. IV 1998).

(2) The Immigration and Naturalization Service retains prosecutorial discretion to decide whether or not to commence removal proceedings against a respondent subsequent to the enactment of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Division C of Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-546.

Matter of V-Z-S-, 22 I&N Dec. 1338 (BIA 2000)

(1) A taking of property constitutes a “theft offense” within the definition of an aggravated felony in section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“Act”), 8U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G) (Supp. IV 1998), whenever there is criminal intent to deprive the owner of the rights and benefits of ownership, even if such deprivation is less than total or permanent.

(2) The respondent’s conviction for unlawful driving and taking of a vehicle in violation of section 10851 of the California Vehicle Code is a “theft offense” under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Act.

Transportation of Undocumented Aliens

Matter of Ruiz, 22 I&N Dec. 486 (BIA 1999)

An alien who is convicted of transporting an illegal alien within the United States in violation of section 274(a)(1)(A)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii) (1994), was convicted of an aggravated felony as defined in section 101(a)(43)(N) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(N) (Supp. II 1996), and is therefore deportable under section 241(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(A)(iii) (1994), as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony.Matter of I-M-, 7 I&N Dec. 389 (BIA 1957), distinguished.