Immigration Law

Recent Posts

CA9 on CIMT, Divisibility, Categorical Approach: Maie v. Garland
Posted on 2 Aug 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Maie v. Garland "Maie’s petition contends that his petty theft convictions are not categorically CIMTs. The government’s initial response argued only that Maie failed to preserve this argument. For reasons explained more fully below... Read More

Tags: cimt , turpitude

New CA9 Opinion in Silva v. Garland (CIMT)
Posted on 30 Mar 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Silva v. Garland "The opinion and concurring opinion filed July 10, 2020, and appearing at 965 F.3d 724 (9th Cir. 2020), are withdrawn. They may not be cited by or to this court or any district court of the Ninth Circuit. A new opinion is filed... Read More

Tags: cimt , turpitude

BIA on Categorical Approach, CIMT, Conspiracy: Matter of Al Sabsabi
Posted on 29 Mar 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of Al Sabsabi, 28 I&N Dec. 269 (BIA 2021) (1) The “offense clause” of the Federal conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. § 371 (2012), is divisible and the underlying substantive crime is an element of the offense. (2) Because the... Read More

Caselaw Chart: Assault-Related CIMTs
Posted on 20 Mar 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

CLINIC, Tanika Vigil, March 2021 "This chart provides a summary of BIA and circuit court case law regarding the crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) analysis for assault-related offenses. The purpose of this chart is to provide practitioners... Read More

BIA on Assault, CIMT: Matter of Aguilar-Mendez
Posted on 12 Mar 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of Aguilar-Mendez, 28 I&N Dec. 262 (BIA 2021) The respondent’s conviction for assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury in violation of section 245(a)(4) of the California Penal Code is categorically one for a... Read More

Tags: assault , cimt

Matter of Nemis (Conspiracy, CIMT, Modified Categorical Approach; Discretion)
Posted on 8 Mar 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of Nemis, 28 I&N Dec. 250 (BIA 2021) Headnotes: (1) Applying the categorical approach, the conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. § 371 (2012), is overbroad relative to the generic definition of a crime involving moral turpitude, and divisible... Read More

Enriquez v. Barr Remanded (CIMT)
Posted on 2 Mar 2021 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Enriquez v. Wilkinson "Respondent’s unopposed motion to remand (Dkt. No. 74) is GRANTED. We REMAND this case to the Board of Immigration Appeals for reconsideration of whether Petitioner’s conviction under Cal. Penal Code § 136... Read More

Tags: cimt , turpitude

CA9 on CIMT, Cancellation: Ortega-Lopez IV
Posted on 21 Oct 2020 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Ortega-Lopez v. Barr "Ortega-Lopez, a native and citizen of Mexico, petitions for review of a ruling by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) [ Matter of Ortega-Lopez, 27 I&N Dec. 382 (BIA 2018) ] that he was ineligible for cancellation of... Read More

CA3 on CIMT: Larios v. Atty. Gen.
Posted on 14 Oct 2020 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Larios v. Atty. Gen. "Here, in what is now Lazaro Javier Larios’s third petition for review from prior reversals, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) applied the categorical approach and held Larios ineligible for cancellation of removal... Read More

CA4 on CIMT: Nunez-Vasquez v. Barr
Posted on 14 Jul 2020 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Nunez-Vasquez v. Barr "David Nunez-Vasquez seeks review of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) finding that he was removable because he had been convicted of two crimes involving moral turpitude (“CIMT”)—a conviction... Read More

Tags: cimt , turpitude

CA8 on CIMT: Ortiz II (Obstruction)
Posted on 24 Jun 2020 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Ortiz v. Barr "[In Ortiz I, this] Court determined that a conviction under Minn. Stat. Ann. § 609.50, subdiv. 2(2) [obstruction of legal process, arrest, or firefighting] is not categorically a crime of violence—and, thus, not an aggravated... Read More

CA2 Vacates Matter of Mendez! (CIMT, Misprision)
Posted on 27 May 2020 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Mendez v. Barr "Tomas Mendez, a lawful permanent resident, was denied reentry to the country upon his return from a trip abroad. The Department of Homeland Security charged him as inadmissible for having been previously convicted of misprision... Read More

CA3 on CIMT, Retroactivity: Francisco-Lopez v. Barr
Posted on 15 May 2020 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Francisco-Lopez v. Barr "We grant review and join several other circuits in ruling that the BIA should not have retroactively applied Diaz-Lizarraga. See Monteon-Camargo v. Barr, 918 F.3d 423 (5th Cir. 2019); Garcia-Martinez v. Sessions, 886 F... Read More

CA9 on CIMT, AggFel: Jauregui-Cardenas v. Barr
Posted on 13 Jan 2020 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Jauregui-Cardenas v. Barr "Maria Jauregui-Cardenas petitions for review of a final order of removal, arguing the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) erred in holding that she is an inadmissible alien who is not eligible for discretionary... Read More

Matter of Salad, 27 I&N Dec. 733 (BIA 2020)
Posted on 3 Jan 2020 by Daniel M. Kowalski

Matter of Salad, 27 I&N Dec. 733 (BIA 2020) The offense of making terroristic threats in violation of section 609.713, subdivision 1, of the Minnesota Statutes is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude. Read More

  • Blog Post: Deportation for a Sin: Why Moral Turpitude is Void for Vagueness

    "A major problem facing noncitizen criminal defendants today is the vagueness of the term “crime involving moral turpitude” (CIMT) in deportation law. The Supreme Court in the 1951 case Jordan v. DeGeorge decided that a statute authorizing deportation for a CIMT was not void...
  • Blog Post: Eleventh Circuit rejects Silva-Trevino: Sanchez Fajardo v. Atty. Gen.

    "[W]e agree with the Third and Eighth Circuits that Congress unambiguously intended adjudicators to use the categorical and modified categorical approach to determine whether a person was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. ... [W]e hold that the BIA and the IJ erred by considering evidence...
  • Blog Post: Matter of RIVENS, ID 3731, 25 I&N Dec. 623 (BIA 2011)

    Matter of RIVENS, ID 3731, 25 I&N Dec. 623 (BIA 2011) - (1) In order to establish that a returning lawful permanent resident alien is to be treated as an applicant for admission to the United States, the Department of Homeland Security has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that...
  • Blog Post: Matter of Islam, Int. Dec. 3733, 25 I&N Dec. 637 (BIA 2011)

    Matter of Islam, Int. Dec. 3733, 25 I&N Dec. 637 (BIA 2011) - (1) In determining whether an alien’s convictions for two or more crimes involving moral turpitude arose out of a “single scheme of criminal misconduct” within the meaning of section 237(a)(2)(A)(ii) of the Immigration...
  • Blog Post: Third Circuit on CIMT, 'legally admitted': Totimeh v. Atty. Gen.

    "We decide whether the BIA erred in holding that Totimeh’s conviction under Minnesota’s predatory offender registration statute was a crime involving moral turpitude for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”). We also decide whether the BIA abused its discretion...
  • Blog Post: Ninth Circuit on CIMT, Cal. Penal Code § 422: Latter-Singh v. Holder

    "Singh claims that the BIA wrongly determined that a violation of California Penal Code § 422 constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude (or “CIMT”), thus rendering him removable. Although we previously determined that a violation of § 422 is an aggravated felony, see Rosales...
  • Blog Post: CA8 on CIMT; BIA Failed to Apply Silva-Trevino: Godoy Bobadilla v. Holder

    "The only issue we will address is whether his conviction for providing a false name to a peace officer is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude, a question of law we have jurisdiction to consider. ... We grant Bobadilla’s petition for review and remand. ... In this case, the IJ’s...
  • Blog Post: CA6 on CIMT, Felony Flight: Ruiz-Lopez v. Holder

    [T]the BIA was not remiss in concluding that, given the nature of the felony-flight statute under which Ruiz-Lopez was convicted, “moral turpitude necessarily inheres in such a crime, given the combination of circumstances involved.” Ruiz-Lopez, 25 I. & N. Dec. at 556. Indeed, both elements...
  • Blog Post: BIA on CIMT: Matter of Leal, ID 3768, 26 I&N Dec. 20 (BIA 2012)

    Matter of Leal, ID 3768, 26 I&N Dec. 20 (BIA 2012) - The offense of “recklessly endangering another person with a substantial risk of imminent death” in violation of section 13-1201(A) of the Arizona Revised Statutes is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude under the definition...
  • Blog Post: CA10 on CIMT, Obstruction of Justice: Vaquero-Cordero v. Holder (unpub.)

    "Because the BIA’s decision does not demonstrate thorough consideration of petitioner’s case, offer sufficient support for its reasoning, and is inconsistent with its earlier pronouncements on crimes involving moral turpitude, the BIA’s decision is not persuasive and is not entitled...
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA: Head-Butting a Peace Officer Not a CIMT

    "Although we find no clear error in the Immigration Judge's decision to credit the police report, we respectfully disagree with his conclusion that the conduct described therein is a CIMT. In order for assault on a police officer to qualify as a CIMT, there must be an intentional act combined...
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA Remand: CIMT, 212(c)

    "On July 26,2012, the Board requested supplemental briefing as to whether, in light of Pannu v. Holder, 639 F.3d 1225 (9th Cir. 2011), the respondent's conviction for failing to register as a sex offender, CAL. PENAL CODE § 290(g)(2) (2001), was a crime involving moral turpitude. ... we...
  • Blog Post: BIA on CIMT: Matter of Cortes Medina

    "The offense of indecent exposure in violation of section 314(1) of the California Penal Code, which includes the element of lewd intent, is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude." - Matter of Cortes Medina, ID 3775, 26 I&N Dec. 79 (BIA 2013).
  • Blog Post: CA9 on CIMT: Castrijon-Garcia v. Holder

    "Javier Castrijon-Garcia (“Castrijon”) petitions for review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”), holding that his conviction for simple kidnapping under California Penal Code (“CPC”) § 207(a) is categorically a crime involving moral...
  • Blog Post: CA1 on CIMT, Modified Categorical Approach: Patel v. Holder

    "In 2003, petitioner Nupur Patel pled guilty to conspiracy-to-commit-larceny charges stemming from a scheme in which he stole from the dorm rooms of his college classmates. As a result, an Immigration Judge (IJ) and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) found that Patel, at the time a lawful permanent...
  • Blog Post: Matter of Ortega-Lopez, ID 3777, 26 I&N Dec. 99 (BIA 2013)

    The offense of sponsoring or exhibiting an animal in an animal fighting venture in violation of 7 U.S.C. § 2156(a)(1) (2006) is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude. - Matter of Ortega-Lopez, ID 3777, 26 I&N Dec. 99 (BIA 2013)
  • Blog Post: AAO CIMT/Waiver Victory: London

    "[W]e acknowledge that the term "moral turpitude" is not in common usage, and it is unlikely that the average person is aware of its meaning and application in U.S. immigration law. In this case, the applicant did not disclose his conviction when asked about crimes involving moral turpitude...
  • Blog Post: BIA on Admission, CIMT: Matter of Pinzon

    (1) An alien who enters the United States by falsely claiming United States citizenship is not deemed to have been inspected by an immigration officer, so the entry is not an “admission” under section 101(a)(13)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(13)(A) (2012...
  • Blog Post: Ceron v. Holder to be Reheard En Banc: CA9

    "Upon the vote of a majority of nonrecused active judges, it is ordered that this case [*] be reheard en banc pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 35(a)and Circuit Rule 35-3. The three-judge panel opinion shall not be cited as precedent by or to any court of the Ninth Circuit." ...
  • Blog Post: CA6 on Binding Concession by Attorney, CIMT: Hanna v. Holder

    "[W]e grant Hanna’s petition for review, reverse the BIA’s holding that Hanna’s admission is binding, and relieve Hanna of his attorney’s concession of removability. Because the BIA’s determination that Hanna is removable is predicated on this concession, we reverse...
  • Blog Post: CA5 Rejects Matter of Silva-Trevino

    Hats off to Lisa Brodyaga, counsel for amici, and countless others who have worked on this issue for years! "Cristoval Silva-Trevino challenges a new method the Attorney General and the Board of Immigration Appeals (“the Board”) used to determine that he had been convicted of a crime...
  • Blog Post: 18 U.S.C. 1015(a) Not CIMT: USA v. Li

    "In sum, the Court concludes that a violation of [18 U.S.C.] § 1015(a) is not inherently fraudulent and does not include the element of materiality essential to perjury. As a result, the crime Li was convicted of committing is not categorically a crime involving moral turpitude." - USA...
  • Blog Post: Was the Attorney Really Ineffective in Kovacs v. USA?

    "In Kovacs v. United States , the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a lower district court’s decision denying a writ of error coram nobis to vacate a 1999 guilty plea to misprision of felony on the ground that his lawyer rendered ineffective assistance. While the...
  • Blog Post: CA9 on CIMT, False Imprisonment: Turijan v. Holder

    "Rodrigo Montiel Turijan petitions for review of a final decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”). The issue on appeal is whether felony false imprisonment under California Penal Code (“CPC”) §§ 236 and 237 is a categorical crime involving moral turpitude...
  • Blog Post: Unpub. BIA Descamps CIMT Victory in Arizona: Matter of Sainz-Rivera (unpub.)

    "In this unpublished decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissed the charge of deportability and held that Ariz. Rev. Stat. 28-1383(A)(1) — which criminalizes driving under the influence after one’s license has been suspended, canceled, revoked, refused or restricted —...