CA11 on Aggravated Felony: Ramos v. U.S. Attorney General

"Ronel Ramos was charged with removability for committing an “aggravated felony” within the meaning of 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) when he pled guilty to violating Georgia Code § 16-8-14, a statute that criminalizes shoplifting.   An Immigration Judge sustained the charge, denied Ramos’s application for cancellation of removal, and ordered Ramos deported.  Ramos appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. The Board dismissed his appeal, reasoning that a § 16-8-14 conviction necessarily qualifies as an aggravated felony.   The Board then denied Ramos’s motion to reconsider.  Ramos petitioned this court to review both of the Board’s rulings.  We conclude that a § 16-8-14 conviction does not categorically qualify as an aggravated felony.  We also  conclude that Ramos’s record of conviction does not establish that he committed an aggravated felony.  We therefore grant Ramos’s petition and reverse the Board’s rulings." - Ramos v. U.S. Attorney General, Feb. 19, 2013.  [Hats way off to John Patrick Pratt!]