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Immigration Law

Supreme Court, 6-3, on aggravated felony: Kawashima v. Holder

"This case concerns whether aliens who commit certain federal tax crimes are subject to deportation as aliens who have been convicted of an aggravated felony. We hold that violations of 26 U. S. C. §§7206(1) and (2) are crimes “involv[ing] fraud or deceit” under 8 U. S. C. §1101(a)(43)(M)(i) and are therefore aggravated felonies asthat term is defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U. S. C. §1101 et seq., when the loss to the Government exceeds $10,000." - Kawashima v. Holder, Feb. 21, 2012.  [But see, JUSTICE GINSBURG, with whom JUSTICE BREYER and JUSTICE KAGAN join, dissenting: "The Court’s construction of the statute is dubious, as I see it. For one thing, it effectively renders Clause (ii) superfluous. Further, the Court’s reading sweeps a wide variety of federal, state, and local tax offenses—including misdemeanors—into the “aggravated felony” category. In addition, today’s decision may discourage aliens from pleading guilty to tax offenses less grave than tax evasion,thereby complicating and delaying enforcement of the internal revenue laws. I conclude that Clause (i) does not address tax offenses, and would therefore hold that making a false statement on a tax return in violation of §7206is not an “aggravated felony.”"]