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Immigration Law

Unpub. CA5 Divisibility Remand Victory: Wali v. Garland

Wali v. Garland

"Sajid Momin Wali, a native and citizen of Pakistan, became a lawful permanent resident in 2012. In 2017, he pleaded guilty in Texas state court to possession with intent to deliver a synthetic cannabinoid. As a result, he was charged as removable under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i) for having been convicted of a state-law crime relating to a controlled substance defined in the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. § 802. Both the Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals sustained that removability determination, concluding that although the Texas statute that formed the basis of Wali’s conviction was broader than the Controlled Substances Act, Wali was removable because the Texas statute under which he was convicted was divisible. After the BIA issued its decision, this court decided Alejos-Perez v. Garland, 991 F.3d 642 (5th Cir. 2021). Under Alejos-Perez, the BIA’s determination that Wali’s statute of conviction was divisible was error. Accordingly, we grant Wali’s petition for review, reverse the BIA’s order, and remand for the BIA to reconsider whether Texas Penalty Group 2-A is divisible in light of Alejos-Perez."

[Hats off to Amber Gracia for fighting this case since 2018!]