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CA3 on CIMT: Larios v. Atty. Gen.

October 14, 2020 (1 min read)

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 under 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1) for having been convicted of “a crime involving moral turpitude.” 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I). Because we conclude the crime at issue—New Jersey’s terroristic-threats statute, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:12-3(a)—should have been analyzed under the modified categorical approach, and, under that approach, the particular offense of which Larios was convicted is not a crime involving moral turpitude, we will grant the petition for review. ... Larios’s crime of conviction has a minimum mens rea of recklessness but lacks any statutory aggravating factors, so the least culpable conduct is a reckless threat to commit a violent property crime, which under Baptiste, Knapik, and Mahn, is not turpitudinous. Larios’s offense of conviction therefore does not qualify as a CIMT under the modified categorical approach. ... After more than a decade of litigation, Larios has finally established he was not convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, and the BIA erred in finding him ineligible for cancellation of removal on that basis. Accordingly, we will grant the petition for review and remand to the agency for proceedings consistent with this opinion."

[Hats way off to Regis Fernandez!]