Immigration Law

CA9 on CIMT: Vasquez-Valle v. Sessions

Vasquez-Valle v. Sessions - "Orlando Vasquez-Valle (“Vasquez-Valle”) is a native and citizen of Mexico. He was convicted of witness tampering in violation of Oregon Revised Statutes § 162.285 and was referred for immigration proceedings. VasquezValle conceded removability but argued that he was eligible for cancellation of removal. The Immigration Judge (“IJ”) held, and the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) affirmed, that Vasquez-Valle was ineligible for cancellation of removal because his conviction for witness tampering was a crime involving moral turpitude (“CIMT”). We conclude that Oregon Revised Statutes § 162.285 is not categorically a crime involving moral turpitude because the statute captures conduct that is neither fraudulent nor base, vile, or depraved. And while we conclude that the statute is divisible, the subsection that formed the basis for VasquezValle’s conviction—§ 162.285(1)(b)—is likewise not a categorical match for a crime involving moral turpitude. We therefore grant Vasquez-Valle’s petition and remand to the agency for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

[Hats off to Kristin Kyrka (argued), Higuera & Vanderhoef; Vicky Dobrin and Hilary Han, Dobrin & Han PC!}