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Immigration Law

CA11 on Retroactivity: Rendon v. Atty. Gen.

Rendon v. Atty. Gen.

"Carlos Rendon began living in the United States as a lawful permanent resident in 1991. Then in 1995, he pled guilty to resisting a police officer with violence. Under immigration law this offense qualifies as a crime involving moral turpitude (“CIMT”). At the time, Mr. Rendon’s sentence of 364 days in state custody did not affect his status as a lawful permanent resident. But Congress later changed the law. In 1996, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) made him deportable based on his CIMT conviction. And in 1997, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (“IIRIRA”) created the “stop-time rule,” which meant people convicted of certain crimes were no longer eligible for a discretionary form of relief known as cancellation of removal. Approximately 25 years after his guilty plea, an immigration judge found Mr. Rendon removable and ruled he was no longer eligible for cancellation of removal on account of the stop-time rule. On appeal, Mr. Rendon now argues that it was error to retroactively apply the stop-time rule to his pre-IIRIRA conviction. After careful review, we conclude that Mr. Rendon is right. We reverse the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals and remand for further proceedings."

[Hats off to Anthony Richard Dominquez at Prada Urizar, PLLC!]