Practice Advisory: Why U.S v. Castleman Does Not Hurt Your Immigration Case and May Help It

Practice Advisory: Why U.S v. Castleman Does Not Hurt Your Immigration Case and May Help It

"On March 26, in United States v. Castleman, the Supreme Court settled a circuit split over the meaning of a federal criminal law that prohibits people who have been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes from possessing guns or ammunition.  Castleman is a problematic decision for criminal defendants that may also embolden the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to try to expand the reach of the “domestic violence” and “crime of violence” removal grounds. However, because of strong language in the opinion limiting its reasoning to the criminal context, it should have no negative impact on immigration law.  This advisory covers (1) the holding of Castleman as to federal criminal law; (2) the reasons Castleman does not affect existing court and agency decisions holding that an offense must require the intentional employment of strong, violent force to trigger immigration consequences as a “crime of violence” aggravated felony or as a “crime of domestic violence”; and (3) how Castleman may help support arguments to narrow the “domestic violence” and “aggravated felony” removal grounds." - NIP/IDP Apr. 7, 2014.

["Copyright (c) 2014, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and Immigrant Defense Project.  This Advisory was written by Dan Kesselbrenner, Isaac Wheeler, and Sejal Zota.  This Practice Advisory is intended for lawyers and is not a substitute for independent legal advice supplied by a lawyer familiar with a client’s case.]