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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Supreme Court Ruling: Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, June 14, 2010

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

The United States Supreme Court has just issued an immigration related decision that breaths a whisper of common sense back into the interpretation of our United States immigration laws.

In Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, June 14, 2010, the Court found that a second or subsequent simple possession offense may not be interpreted as an aggravated felony under 1101(a)(43) when the state conviction is not based on a prior conviction.

The Supreme Court overturned the Immigration Judge's interpretation that a second simple possession
conviction constitutes an "aggravated felony" that renders an individual in-eligible for
cancellation of removal.

Both the Board of Immigration Appeals and Fifth
Circuit affirmed the Immigration Judge in reliance on the holding in Lopez v. Gonzales, 549 U. S.
47, 56, which states that for a conviction to be an "aggravated felony" for immigration law purposes,
a state drug conviction must be punishable as a felony under federal
law.  Both the Board and the Fifth utilized a "hypothetical approach," to conclude that if "conduct" could have been prosecuted as a recidivist simple
possession under state law, it could have also been punished as a felony
under federal law.

In rendering its decision the Supreme Court reaffirmed a previous ruling in Leocal v. Ashcroft, 543 U. S. 1, 11, n. 8, where it held that ambiguities in criminal statutes referenced in immigration laws should be construed in a non-citizen's favor.

This is a tremendous victory for justice.  Hats off to Professor
Geoff Hoffman, from the University of Houston Immigration Law Clinic for the fantastic work done on this case.

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Comments

  1. GerryMc's Avatar
    Immigration is a sore question for the American society. Now, when the situtation has gotten out of control only strict reactionary measures can work to get a handle on immigration issue. So if we want to eradicate crime committed by legal or illegal alliens, governement and American people must react and reactionary laws must be enforced.
    Share your thoughts on http://immigration.civiltalks.com/
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