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Immigration Law

Major Retroactivity Victory in CA5: Carranza II

"Prior to the passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), Petra Carranza-De Salinas (Carranza) was eligible to apply for discretionary relief from removal despite having a criminal conviction for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.  After the enactment of IIRIRA, the provision granting her eligibility was repealed, and IIRIRA specified that aliens with a criminal conviction like Carranza’s were no longer eligible to apply for discretionary relief from removal. Carranza argues that this constitutes impermissible retroactive legislation as applied to her case.  Because we conclude that Carranza may invoke the presumption against retroactive application, she is entitled to pursue § 212(c) relief.  Accordingly, we grant Carranza’s petition for review, vacate the Board of Immigration Appeal’s (BIA’s) order and remand the case to the BIA for additional proceedings." - Carranza-De Salinas v. Holder, Nov. 6, 2012.  [Hats off to Lisa Brodyaga!]