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Immigration Law

CA9 on Retroactivity, 212(c) - Cardenas-Delgado v. Holder

"Francisco Cardenas-Delgado, a legal permanent resident of the United States since 1976, appeals from the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) decision affirming an immigration judge’s (“IJ”) decision that he is ineligible for relief from removal under former Immigration and Naturalization Act § 212(c), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(c) (1988), because his conviction for an aggravated felony was the result of a trial. Cardenas-Delgado argues that this was error because it is impermissibly retroactive to apply the repeal of § 212(c) relief to him. We grant Cardenas-Delgado’s petition for review.

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Vartelas v. Holder, 132 S. Ct. 1479 (2012), makes it clear that the essential inquiry of retroactivity analysis is to determine whether the new law attaches new legal consequences to completed conduct and that evidence regarding reliance is not required to prove that a new law is impermissibly retroactive. The repeal of § 212(c) relief impermissibly attaches new legal consequences to the trial convictions of aliens like Cardenas-Delgado by rendering these aliens ineligible for relief as a result of convictions that pre-dated the repeal of § 212(c)." - Cardenas-Delgado v. Holder, June 26, 2013.  [Hats off to Stephen Coghlan!]