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Immigration Law

CA3 on Categorical Approach: Bautista v. Attorney General

"We will grant the petition because the New York attempted arson conviction is not an aggravated felony in respect to collateral immigration consequences under the INA. Applying the categorical approach, as we must, the New York statute under which Bautista was convicted does not match the elements of 18 U.S.C. § 844(i), the corresponding federal statute under the INA. 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(E)(i). A conviction under that New York arson statute cannot qualify as an aggravated felony because it lacks the jurisdictional element of § 844(i), which the Supreme Court has found to be a critical and substantive element of that arson offense. We vacate the BIA ruling and remand to the BIA for further consideration in light of this opinion." - Bautista v. Atty. Gen., Feb. 28, 2014.  [Hats off to Ray Lahoud!]