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Immigration Law

CA9 on CIMT, Cancellation: Ortega-Lopez IV

Ortega-Lopez v. Barr

"Ortega-Lopez, a native and citizen of Mexico, petitions for review of a ruling by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) [Matter of Ortega-Lopez, 27 I&N Dec. 382 (BIA 2018)] that he was ineligible for cancellation of removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1). We hold that the BIA reasonably concluded that Ortega-Lopez had been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed based on his conviction under 7 U.S.C. § 2156(a)(1) (criminalizing specified conduct relating to animal fighting ventures). We also defer to the BIA’s conclusion that an alien who has been convicted of such an offense is an alien “convicted of an offense under section . . . 1227(a)(2),” 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1)(C). Therefore, we deny the petition for review. ... In sum, we defer to the BIA’s conclusion that knowingly sponsoring or exhibiting an animal in an animal fighting venture is a crime involving moral turpitude described under § 1227(a)(2). We also defer to the BIA’s conclusion that, pursuant to the cross-reference in § 1229b(b)(1)(C), an alien is ineligible for cancellation of removal if the alien has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude for which a sentence of one year or more may be imposed, regardless whether the alien meets the immigration prerequisites for inadmissibility or deportability. Because Ortega-Lopez was convicted of a violation of § 2156(a)(1), a crime involving moral turpitude, he is ineligible for cancellation of removal."