CA6 on CIMT, Felony Flight: Ruiz-Lopez v. Holder

CA6 on CIMT, Felony Flight: Ruiz-Lopez v. Holder

[T]the BIA was not remiss in concluding that, given the nature of the felony-flight statute under which Ruiz-Lopez was convicted, “moral turpitude necessarily inheres in such a crime, given the combination of circumstances involved.”  Ruiz-Lopez, 25 I. & N. Dec. at 556.  Indeed, both elements of the BIA’s two-pronged definition of a CIMT set forth in Silva-Trevino are present here.  See Silva-Trevino, 24 I. & N. Dec. at 706 & n.5 (defining a CIMT as involving both scienter and reprehensible conduct).  The element of “wanton or willful disregard” clearly fulfills the requisite scienter component, and cases such as Mei and Pulido-Alatorre show that intentionally fleeing from a police vehicle qualifies as the type of societally condemned, reprehensible conduct that is reasonably encompassed by the BIA’s general definition of a CIMT.  The BIA therefore properly concluded that Ruiz-Lopez’s conviction under § 46.61.024 of the Washington Revised Code was sufficient as a categorical matter to constitute a crime involving moral turpitude." - Ruiz-Lopez v. Holder, June 19, 2012.