Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Adjustment of Status to Lawful Permanent Resident. Precedent Decisions Pertaining to Adjustment of Status

Arriving Aliens

Matter of Silitonga, 25 I&N Dec. 89 (BIA 2009)

Under 8 C.F.R. §§ 245.2(a)(1) and 1245.2(a)(1)(ii) (2009), Immigration Judges have no jurisdiction to adjudicate an application filed by an arriving alien seeking adjustment of status, with the limited exception of an alien who has been placed in removal proceedings after returning to the United States pursuant to a grant of advance parole to pursue a previously filed application.

Matter of Yauri, 25 I&N Dec. 103 (BIA 2009)
(1) With a narrow exception not applicable to this case, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate an arriving alien’s application for adjustment of status under 8 C.F.R. §245.2(a)(1) (2009) and agrees that it retains jurisdiction to adjudicate the application even where an unexecuted administratively final order of removal remains outstanding.
(2) The Board of Immigration Appeals generally lacks authority to reopen the proceedings of aliens under final orders of exclusion, deportation, or removal who seek to pursue relief over which the Board and the Immigration Judges have no jurisdiction, especially where reopening is sought simply as a mechanism to stay the final order while the collateral matter is resolved by the agency or court having jurisdiction to do so.

(3) With regard to untimely or number-barred motions to reopen, the Board will not generally exercise its discretion to reopen proceedings sua sponte for an arriving alien to pursue adjustment of status before the USCIS.

Child Status Protection Act

            Matter of Avila-Perez, 24 I&N Dec. 78 (BIA 2007)

(1) Section 201(f)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1151(f)(1) (Supp. II 2002), which allows the beneficiary of an immediate relative visa petition to retain his status as a “child” after he turns 21, applies to an individual whose visa petition was approved before the August 6, 2002, effective date of the Child Status Protection Act, Pub. L. No. 107-208, 116 Stat. 927 (2002), but who filed an application for adjustment of status after that date.

(2) The respondent, whose visa petition was approved before August 6, 2002, and who filed his adjustment of status application after that date, retained his status as a child, and therefore an immediate relative, because he was under the age of 21 when the visa petition was filed on his behalf.

Matter of Wang, 25 I&N Dec. 28 (BIA 2009)

The automatic conversion and priority date retention provisions of the Child Status Protection Act, Pub L. No. 107-208, 116 Stat. 927 (2002), do not apply to an alien who ages out of eligibility for an immigrant visa as the derivative beneficiary of a fourth preference visa petition, and on whose behalf a second-preference petition is later filed by a different petitioner
Chinese Student Protection Act
Matter of Wang, 23 I&N Dec. 924 (BIA 2006)
(1) An alien who entered the United States without inspection is not eligible for adjustment of status under the Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992, Pub. L. No. 102-404, 106 Stat. 1969 (“CSPA”).
(2) An alien whose CSPA application for adjustment of status was denied as a result of the alien’s entry without inspection may not amend or renew the application in immigration proceedings in conjunction with section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1255(i) (2000).

Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act

Matter of Artigas, 23 I&N Dec. 99 (BIA 2001) (superceded by Matter of Martinez-Montalvo, 24 I&N Dec. 778 (BIA 2009)).

An Immigration Judge has jurisdiction to adjudicate an application for adjustment of status under the Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act of November 2, 1966, Pub. L. No. 89-732, 80 Stat. 1161, as amended, when the respondent is charged as an arriving alien without a valid visa or entry document in removal proceedings.


            Matter of Martinez-Montalvo, 24 I&N Dec. 778 (BIA 2009)

Under 8 C.F.R. §§ 245.2(a)(1) and 1245.2(a)(1)(ii) (2008), Immigration Judges have no jurisdiction to adjudicate an application filed by an arriving alien seeking adjustment of status under the Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act of November 2, 1966, Pub. L. No. 89-732, 80 Stat. 1161, as amended, with the limited exception of an alien who has been placed in removal proceedings after returning to the United States pursuant to a grant of advance parole to pursue a previously filed application. Matter of Artigas, 23 I&N Dec. 99 (BIA 2001), superseded.

Matter of E-R-M- & L-R-M-, 25 I&N Dec. 520 (BIA 2011)

(1) Section 235(b)(1)(A)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b)(1)(A)(i) (2006), does not limit the prosecutorial discretion of the Department of Homeland Security to place arriving aliens in removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229a (2006).

(2) The fact that an Immigration Judge has no jurisdiction over applications for adjustment of status under the Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act of November 2, 1966, Pub. L. No. 89-732, 80 Stat. 1161, as amended, does not negate his or her jurisdiction over the removal proceedings of arriving Cuban aliens under section 240 of the Act.
Eligibility

            Matter of L-K-, 23 I&N Dec. 677 (BIA 2004).
(1) Under section 245(c)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1255(c)(2) (2000), an alien who has failed to continuously maintain a lawful status since entry into the United States, other than through no fault of his own or for technical reasons, is ineligible for adjustment of status under section 245(a) of the Act.
(2) A failure to maintain lawful status is not “for technical reasons” within the meaning of section 245(c)(2) of the Act and the applicable regulations at 8 C.F.R. §§ 1245.1(d)(2)(ii) (2004), where the alien filed an asylum application while in lawful nonimmigrant status, the nonimmigrant status subsequently expired, and the asylum application was referred to the Immigration Court prior to the time the alien applied for adjustment of status.

            Matter of Villareal-Zuniga, 23 I&N Dec. 886 (BIA 2006)
An application for adjustment of status cannot be based on an approved visa petition that has already been used by the beneficiary to obtain adjustment of status or admission as an immigrant.


Matter of Jara Riero and Jara Espinol, 24 I&N Dec. 267 (BIA 2007)

An alien seeking to establish eligibility for adjustment of status under section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1255(i) (2000), on the basis of a marriage-based visa petition must prove that the marriage was bona fide at its inception in order to show that the visa petition was “meritorious in fact” pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 1245.10(a)(3) (2007).
Matter of Briones, 24 I&N Dec. 355 (BIA 2007)

(1) Section 212(a)(9)(C)(i)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1182(a)(9)(C)(i)(I) (2000), covers recidivist immigration violators, so to be inadmissible under that section, an alien must depart the United States after accruing an aggregate period of ““unlawful presence”” of more than 1 year and thereafter reenter, or attempt to reenter, the United States without being admitted.

(2) Adjustment of status under section 245(i) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1255(i) (2000), is not available to an alien who is inadmissible under section 212(a)(9)(C)(i)(I) of the Act.

Matter of Diaz and Lopez, 25 I&N Dec. 188 (BIA 2010)

An alien who is inadmissible under section 212(a)(9)(C)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(9)(C)(i) (2006), is ineligible for adjustment of status under section 245(i) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1255(i) (2006). Matter of Briones, 24 I&N Dec. 355 (BIA 2007), reaffirmed.

Matter of Castillo-Padilla, 25 I&N Dec. 257 (BIA 2010)

(1) Conditional parole under section 236(a)(2)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1226(a)(2)(B) (2006), is a distinct and different procedure from parole under section 212(d)(5)(A) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(d)(5)(A) (2006).

(2) An alien who was released from custody on conditional parole pursuant to section 236(a)(2)(B) of the Act has not been “paroled into the United States” for purposes of establishing eligibility for adjustment of status under section 245(a) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1255(a) (2006).

Matter of Quilantan, 25 I&N Dec. 285 (BIA 2010)

For purposes of establishing eligibility for adjustment of status under section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1255(a) (2006), an alien seeking to show that he or she has been “admitted” to the United States pursuant to section 101(a)(13)(A) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(13)(A) (2006), need only prove procedural regularity in his or her entry, which does not require the alien to be questioned by immigration authorities or be admitted in a particular status. Matter of Areguillin, 17 I&N Dec. 308 (BIA 1980), reaffirmed.

Fiancees
Matter of SESAY, 25 I&N Dec. 431 (BIA 2011)
(1) Under section 245(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1255(d) (2006), a fiancé(e) visa holder can only adjust status based on the marriage to the fiancé(e) petitioner. Matter of Zampetis, 14 I&N Dec. 125 (Reg. Comm’r 1972), superseded.
(2) A fiancé(e) visa holder whose bona fide marriage to the fiancé(e) visa petitioner is more than 2 years old at the time the adjustment application is adjudicated is not subject to the provisions for conditional resident status under section 216 of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1186a (2006).
(3) A fiancé(e) visa holder satisfies the visa eligibility and visa availability requirements of section 245(a) of the Act on the date he or she is admitted to the United States as a K-1 nonimmigrant, provided that the fiancé(e) enters into a bona fide marriage with the fiancé(e) petitioner within 90 days.
(4) A fiancé(e) visa holder may be granted adjustment of status under sections 245(a) and (d) of the Act, even if the marriage to the fiancé(e) visa petitioner does not exist at the time that the adjustment application is adjudicated, if the applicant can demonstrate that he or she entered into a bona fide marriage within the 90-day period to the fiancé(e) visa petitioner.

Matter of Le, 25 I&N Dec. 541 (BIA 2011)

A derivative child of a nonimmigrant fiancé(e) visa holder under section 101(a)(15)(K)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(K)(iii) (2006), is not ineligible for adjustment of status simply by virtue of having turned 21 after admission to the United States on a K-2 nonimmigrant visa.


Rescission of Adjustment of Status

Matter of Masri, 22 I&N Dec. 1145 (BIA 1999)
(1) The Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals have jurisdiction over proceedings conducted pursuant to section 246 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1256 (Supp. II 1996), to rescind adjustment of status granted under section 210 of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1160 (1988 & Supp. II 1990).
(2) Information provided in an application to adjust an alien’s status to that of a lawful temporary resident under section 210 of the Act is confidential and prohibited from use in rescission proceedings under section 246 of the Act, or for any purpose other than to make a determination on an application for lawful temporary residence, to terminate such temporary residence, or to prosecute the alien for fraud during the time of application.


Section 245(i) Adjustment
Matter of Fesale, 21 I&N Dec. 114 (BIA 1995)
(1) The remittance required by section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1255(i) (1994), added by the Department of Commerce, Justice, and State Appropriations Act for 1995, Pub. L. No. 103-317, 108 Stat. 1724, 1765, equalling five times the processing fee for an application for adjustment of status, is by definition a statutorily mandated “sum,” and a requirement separate and apart from the fee which federal regulations at 8 C.F.R. § 103.7 (1995) require an alien to pay when filing an application for adjustment of status under section 245 of the Act.

(2) The statutorily mandated sum required by section 245(i) of the Act cannot be waived by an Immigration Judge under the “fee waiver” provisions of 8 C.F.R. §§ 3.24 and 103.7 (1995), based on a showing of an alien’s indigency.


Matter of Alania-Martin, 25 I&N Dec. 231 (BIA 2010)

Aliens who are otherwise eligible to adjust status under section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1255(i) (2006), are not subject to the unauthorized employment restrictions of sections 245(c) and the exception for such employment in section 245(k) that apply to applications for adjustment of status under section 245(a).


ADMINISTRATIVE CLOSURE OF CASES 

Matter of Morales, 21 I&N Dec. 130 (BIA 1995, 1996)
(1) Where an alien in exclusion or deportation proceedings requests administrative closure pursuant to the settlement agreement set forth in American Baptist Churches et al. v. Thornburgh, 760 F. Supp. 797 (N.D.Cal.1991) ("ABC agreement"), the function of the Executive Office for Immigration Review ("EOIR") is restricted to the inquiries required under paragraph 19 of the agreement, i.e., (1) whether an alien is a class member, (2) whether he has been convicted of an aggravated felony, and (3) whether he poses one of the three safety concerns enumerated in paragraph 17.
(2) If a class member requesting administrative closure under the ABC agreement has not been convicted of an aggravated felony and does not fall within one of the three listed categories of public safety concerns under paragraph 17 of the agreement, EOIR must administratively close the matter to afford the alien the opportunity to pursue his rights in a special proceeding before the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
(3) If the applicant is subsequently found ineligible for the benefits of the ABC agreement in the nonadversarial proceeding before the asylum officer, or if he is denied asylum after a full de novo hearing, the Service may reinstitute exclusion or deportation proceedings by filing a motion with the Immigration Judge to recalendar the case, and such motion need only show, through evidence of an asylum officer's decision in the matter, that the class member's rights under paragraph 2 of the agreement have been exercised.
(4) Neither the Board of Immigration Appeals nor the Immigration Judges will review the Service's eligibility determinations under paragraph 2 of the ABC agreement.

Matter of Gutierrez, 21 I&N Dec. 479 (BIA 1996)

(1) Administrative closure of a case is used to temporarily remove the case from an Immigration Judge's calendar or from the Board of Immigration Appeal's docket. A case may not be administratively closed if opposed by either of the parties. Administrative closing of a case does not result in a final order. It is merely an administrative convenience which allows the removal of cases from the calendar in appropriate situations.
(2) The settlement agreement under American Baptist Churches v. Thornburgh, 760 F. Supp. 796 (N.D.Cal.1991) ("ABC"), specifically states that nothing in the agreement shall limit the right of a class member to pursue other legal rights to which he or she might be entitled under the Immigration and Nationality Act. This language is mandatory and does not indicate that such action by an alien would be curtailed by the administrative closing of each class member's case or postponed until the eventual final resolution of each class member's remedies under the settlement agreement itself.
(3) An ABC alien's right to apply for relief from deportation is not prohibited due to the administrative closure of his or her case. Such an alien, therefore, may file a motion to reopen with the administrative body which administratively closed his or her case in order to pursue issues or relief from deportation which were not raised in the administratively closed proceedings. Such motion must comply with all applicable regulations in order for the alien's case to be reopened.
(4) An alien who has had his or her case reopened and who receives an adverse decision from an Immigration Judge in the reopened proceedings must file an appeal of that new decision, in accordance with applicable regulations, in order to vest the Board with jurisdiction to review the Immigration Judge's decision on the issues raised in the reopened proceedings. That appeal would be a separate and independent appeal from any previously filed appeal and would not be consolidated with an appeal before the Board regarding issues which have been administratively closed.
(5) Any appeal pending before the Board regarding issues or forms of relief from deportation which have been administratively closed by the Board prior to the reopening of the alien's proceedings will remain administratively closed. A motion to reinstate an appeal is required before issues which have been administratively closed can be considered by the Board.


ADMISSION / ENTRY

Adjustment of Status

Matter of Koljenovic, 25 I&N Dec. 219 (BIA 2010)
An alien who entered the United States without inspection and later obtained lawful permanent resident status through adjustment of status has “previously been admitted to the United States as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence” and must therefore satisfy the 7-year continuous residence requirement of section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(h) (2006), to be eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility.

Matter of Quilantan, 25 I&N Dec. 285 (BIA 2010)

For purposes of establishing eligibility for adjustment of status under section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1255(a) (2006), an alien seeking to show that he or she has been “admitted” to the United States pursuant to section 101(a)(13)(A) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(13)(A) (2006), need only prove procedural regularity in his or her entry, which does not require the alien to be questioned by immigration authorities or be admitted in a particular status. Matter of Areguillin, 17 I&N Dec. 308 (BIA 1980), reaffirmed.

Arriving Alien

Matter of Oseiwusu, 22 I&N Dec. 19 (BIA 1998)
(1) An alien who arrives in the United States pursuant to a grant of advance parole is an “arriving alien,” as that term is defined in the federal regulations.  
(2) According to the regulations, an Immigration Judge has no authority over the apprehension, custody, and detention of arriving aliens and is therefore without authority to consider the bond request of an alien returning pursuant to a grant of advance parole.

            Matter of R-D-, 24 I&N Dec. 221 (BIA 2007)
(1) An alien who leaves the United States and is admitted to Canada to seek refugee status has made a departure from the United States.
(2) An alien returning to the United States after the denial of an application for refugee status in Canada is seeking admission into the United States and is therefore an arriving alien under 8 C.F.R. § 1001.1(q) (2007).

Matter of E-R-M- & L-R-M-, 25 I&N Dec. 520 (BIA 2011)

(1) Section 235(b)(1)(A)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b)(1)(A)(i) (2006), does not limit the prosecutorial discretion of the Department of Homeland Security to place arriving aliens in removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229a (2006).

(2) The fact that an Immigration Judge has no jurisdiction over applications for adjustment of status under the Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act of November 2, 1966, Pub. L. No. 89-732, 80 Stat. 1161, as amended, does not negate his or her jurisdiction over the removal proceedings of arriving Cuban aliens under section 240 of the Act.

Cancellation of Removal (Non-LPR)

Matter of Reza-Murillo, 25 I&N Dec. 296 (BIA 2010)

A grant of Family Unity Program benefits does not constitute an “admission” to the United States under section 101(a)(13)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(13)(A) (2006), for purposes of establishing that an alien has accrued the requisite 7-year period of continuous residence after having been “admitted in any status” to be eligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(a)(2) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a)(2) (2006).

Claimed Status Review

Matter of Lujan-Quintana, 25 I&N Dec. 53 (BIA 2009)

The Board of Immigration Appeals lacks jurisdiction to review an appeal by the Department of Homeland Security of an Immigration Judge’s decision to vacate an expedited removal order after a claimed status review hearing pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 1235.3(b)(5)(iv) (2009), at which the Immigration Judge determined the respondent to be a United States citizen.

Nunc Pro Tunc Permission to Reapply

Matter of Garcia, 21 I&N Dec. 254 (BIA 1996)

(1) Nunc pro tunc permission to reapply for admission, an administrative practice not expressly authorized by statute, is available only in the limited circumstances where a grant of such relief would effect a complete disposition of the case, i.e., where the only ground of deportability or inadmissability would be eliminated or where the alien would receive a grant of adjustment of status in conjunction with the grant of any appropriate waivers of inadmissability.
(2) A grant of nunc pro tunc permission to reapply for admission is not available to a respondent who, in spite of such a grant, would remain deportable under sections 241(a)(2)(A)(iii) and (B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1251(a)(2)(A)(iii) and (B)(i) (1994), as a result of a drug-related conviction.
(3) An alien who returned to the United States following deportation with a visa, but without obtaining advance permission to reapply, is not eligible to apply for nunc pro tunc permission to reapply for admission in conjunction with an application for a waiver of inadmissibility under section 212(c) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(c) (1994), because he is not independently eligible for the waiver as a result of his unlawful entry.

Returning Lawful Permanent Resident

Matter of Collado, 21 I&N Dec. 1061 (BIA 1998)
(1) A lawful permanent resident of the United States described in sections 101(a)(13)(C)(I)-(vi) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (to be codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(13)(C)(i)-(vi)) is to be regarded as “seeking an admission into the United States for purposes of the immigration laws,” without further inquiry into the nature and circumstances of a departure from and return to this country.
(2) The Immigration Judge erred in finding that the Fleuti doctrine, first enunciated by the United States Supreme Court in Rosenberg v. Fleuti, 374 U.S. 449 (1963), requires the admission into the United States of a returning lawful permanent resident alien who falls within the definition of section 101(a)(13)(C)(v) of the Act, if that alien’s departure from the United States was “brief, casual, and innocent.”

Unlawful Reentry

Matter of Torres-Garcia, 23 I&N Dec. 866 (BIA 2006)

1) An alien who reenters the United States without admission after having previously been removed is inadmissible under section 212(a)(9)(C)(i)(II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(9)(C)(i)(II) (2000), even if the alien obtained the Attorney General’s permission to reapply for admission prior to reentering unlawfully.
(2) An alien is statutorily ineligible for a waiver of inadmissibility under the first sentence of section 212(a)(9)(C)(ii) of the Act unless more than 10 years have elapsed since the date of the alien’s last departure from the United States. Matter of Rodarte, 23 I&N Dec. 905 (BIA 2006)

Matter of Rodarte, 23 I&N Dec. 905 (BIA 2006)
(1) To be rendered inadmissible for 10 years pursuant to section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C § 1182(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) (2000), an alien must depart the United States after having been unlawfully present in the United States for 1 year or longer.

(2) Pursuant to sections 301(b)(3) and 309(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Division C of Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-546, 3009-578, 309-625, no period of an alien’s presence in the United States prior to April 1, 1997, may be considered “unlawful presence” for purposes of determining an alien’s inadmissibility under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Act.

Matter of Briones, 24 I&N Dec. 355 (BIA 2007)
(1) Section 212(a)(9)(C)(i)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1182(a)(9)(C)(i)(I) (2000), covers recidivist immigration violators, so to be inadmissible under that section, an alien must depart the United States after accruing an aggregate period of ““unlawful presence”” of more than 1 year and thereafter reenter, or attempt to reenter, the United States without being admitted.
(2) Adjustment of status under section 245(i) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1255(i) (2000), is not available to an alien who is inadmissible under section 212(a)(9)(C)(i)(I) of the Act.

Matter of Lemus, 24 I&N Dec. 373 (BIA 2007)
(1) An alien who is unlawfully present in the United States for a period of 1 year, departs the country, and then seeks admission within 10 years of the date of his departure from the United States, is inadmissible under section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1182(a)(2)(B)(i)(II) (2000), even if the alien’’s departure was not made pursuant to an order of removal and was not a voluntary departure in lieu of being subject to removal proceedings or at the conclusion of removal proceedings.

(2) Adjustment of status under section 245(i) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1255(i) (2000), is unavailable to an alien who is inadmissible under section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) of the Act.



Withdrawal of Application for Admission

Matter of Sanchez, 21 I&N Dec. 444 (BIA 1996) 
(1) under the present statutory and regulatory scheme, an Immigration Judge properly declined to order an alien excluded in absentia where the Immigration and Naturalization Service did not detain or parole the alien at the time he applied for admission to the United States, but instead returned him to Mexico with instructions to appear for an exclusion hearing at a later date.
(2) By directing an applicant for admission to return to Mexico after being served with a Notice to Applicant for Admission Detained for Hearing before an Immigration Judge (Form I-122), the Service in effect consented to the alien's withdrawal of that application when the alien elected not to return to pursue his application for admission to the United States.

AGGRAVATED FELONIES

Accessory After the Fact

Matter of Batista, 21 I&N Dec. 955 (BIA 1997)
(1) The offense of accessory after the fact to a drug-trafficking crime, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3 (Supp. V 1993), is not considered an inchoate crime and is not sufficiently related to a controlled substance violation to support a finding of deportability pursuant to section 241(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(B)(i) (1994).
(2) The respondent’s conviction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3 establishes his deportability as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony under section 241(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act,because the offense of accessory after the fact falls within the definition of an obstruction of justice crime under section 101(a)(43)(S) of the Act, 8 U.S.C.A. § 1101(a)(43)(S) (West Supp. 1997), and because the respondent’s sentence, regardless of any suspension of the imposition or execution of that sentence, “is at least one year.”

Adjustment of Status

Matter of Rosas, 22 I&N Dec. 616 (BIA 1999)
An alien whose conviction for an aggravated felony was subsequent to her adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident is deportable under section 237(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) (Supp. II 1996), as an alien who was convicted of an aggravated felony “after admission.@

Alien Smuggling

Matter of Alvarado-Alvino, 22 I&N Dec. 718 (BIA 1999) 
An alien convicted of an offense described in section 275(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1325 (Supp. II 1996), is not convicted of an aggravated felony as that term is defined in section 101(a)(43)(N) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(N) (Supp. II 1996), which specifically refers to those offenses relating to alien smuggling described in sections 274(a)(1)(A) and (2) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A) and (2) (Supp. II 1996).

Arson

Matter of Palacios, 22 I&N Dec. 434 (BIA 1998)
An alien who was convicted of arson in the first degree under the law of Alaska and sentenced to 7 years’ imprisonment with 3 years suspended was convicted of a “crime of violence” within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (Supp. II 1996), and therefore is deportable under section 237(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) (Supp. II 1996), as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony.

Burglary

Matter of Perez, 22 I&N Dec. 1325 (BIA 2000) (Burglary of a Vehicle)
The offense of burglary of a vehicle in violation of section 30.04(a) of the Texas Penal Code Annotated is not a “burglary offense” within the definition of an aggravated felony in section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G) (Supp. IV 1998).

Commercial Bribery

Matter of Gruenangerl, 25 I&N Dec. 351 (BIA 2010)
The crime of bribery of a public official in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 201(b)(1)(A) (2006) is not an offense “relating to” commercial bribery and is therefore not an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(R) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(R) (2006).


Conspiracy

Matter of Richardson, 25 I&N Dec. 226 (BIA 2010)

(1) The term “conspiracy” in section 101(a)(43)(U) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(U) (2006), is not limited to conspiracies that require the commission of an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy by one of the conspirators.

(2) An alien who was only convicted of conspiracy to commit an aggravated felony and is removable on the basis of that conviction under section 101(a)(43)(U) of the Act may not also be found removable for the underlying substantive offense, even though the record of conviction shows that the conspirators actually committed the substantive offense.

Controlled Substances

Matter of L-G-, 21 I&N Dec. 89 (BIA 1995) (modified by Matter of Yanez, 23 I&N Dec. 390 (BIA 2002))
(1) A federal definition applies to determine whether or not a crime is a “felony” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(2) (1994), and therefore is an “aggravated felony” under section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43) (Supp. V 1993).
(2) For immigration purposes, a state drug offense qualifies as a “drug trafficking crime” under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(2) if it is punishable as a felony under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 951 et seq.), or the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act (46 U.S.C. App. 1901 et seq.). Matter of Davis, 20 I&N Dec. 536 (BIA 1992), and Matter of Barrett, 20 I&N Dec. 171 (BIA 1990), reaffirmed.
(3) Although we disagree with the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Jenkins v. INS, 32 F.3d 11 (2d Cir. 1994), which holds that an alien’s state conviction for a drug offense that is a felony under state law, but a misdemeanor under federal law, qualifies as a conviction for an aggravated felony, we will follow this decision in matters arising within the Second Circuit’s jurisdiction.

Matter of K-V-D-, 22 I&N Dec. 1163 (BIA 1999) (overruled by Matter of Yanez, 23 I&N Dec. 390 (BIA 2002))
(1) Where a circuit court of appeals has interpreted the definition of an “aggravated felony” under section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43) ( 1994), only for purposes of criminal sentence enhancement, the Board of Immigration Appeals may interpret the phrase differently for purposes of implementing the immigration laws in cases arising within that circuit.
(2) An alien convicted in Texas of simple possession of a controlled substance, which would be a felony under Texas law but a misdemeanor under federal law, is not convicted of an aggravated felony within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Act. Matter of L-G-, 21 I&N Dec. 89 (BIA 1995), affirmed.            Matter of Yanez, 23 I&N Dec. 390 (BIA 2002)
The determination whether a state drug offense constitutes a “drug trafficking crime” under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(2) (2000), such that it may be considered an “aggravated felony” under section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(B) (2000), shall be made by reference to decisional authority from the federal circuit courts of appeals, and not by reference to any separate legal standard adopted by the Board of Immigration Appeals. Matter of K-V-D-, 22 I&N Dec. 1163 (BIA 1999), overruled. Matter of L-G-, 21 I&N Dec. 89 (BIA 1995), and Matter of Davis, 20 I&N Dec. 536 (BIA 1992), modified.            

Matter of Santos-Lopez, 23 I&N Dec. 419 (BIA 2002)
(1) Under the decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in United States v. Hernandez-Avalos, 251 F.3d 505 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 122 S. Ct. 305 (2001), and United States v. Hinojosa-Lopez, 130 F.3d 691 (5th Cir. 1997), a determination whether an offense is a "felony" for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(2) (2000) depends on the classification of the offense under the law of the convicting jurisdiction. Matter of Yanez, 23 I&N Dec. 390 (BIA 2002), followed.
(2) Each of the respondent's two convictions for possession of marihuana is classified as a misdemeanor offense under Texas law; therefore, neither conviction is for a "felony" within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(2) or an "aggravated felony" within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(B) (2000).            

Matter of Elgendi, 23 I&N Dec. 515 (BIA 2002)
In accordance with authoritative precedent of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in United States v. Pornes-Garcia, 171 F.3d 142 (2d Cir. 1999), and United States v. Polanco, 29 F.3d 35 (2d Cir. 1994), an individual who has been convicted twice of misdemeanor possession of marijuana in violation of New York State law has not been convicted of an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43)(B) (2000).>            

Matter of Carachuri-Rosendo, 24 I&N Dec. 382 (BIA 2007)
(1) Decisional authority from the Supreme Court and the controlling Federal circuit court of appeals is determinative of whether a State drug offense constitutes an “aggravated felony” under section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101(a)(43)(B) (2000), by virtue of its correspondence to the Federal felony offense of “recidivist possession,” as defined by 21 U.S.C. § 844(a) (2000). Matter of Yanez, 23 I&N Dec. 390 (BIA 2002), followed.
(2) Controlling precedent of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dictates that the respondent’’s Texas conviction for alprazolam possession qualifies as an “aggravated felony” conviction by virtue of the fact that the underlying alprazolam possession offense was committed after the respondent’s prior State “conviction” for a “drug, narcotic, or chemical offense” became “final” within the meaning of 21 U.S.C. § 844(a).
(3) Absent controlling authority regarding the “recidivist possession” issue, an alien’s State conviction for simple possession of a controlled substance will not be considered an aggravated felony conviction on the basis of recidivism unless the alien’’s status as a recidivist drug offender was either admitted by the alien or determined by a judge or jury in connection with a prosecution for that simple possession offense.

           Matter of Thomas, 24 I&N Dec. 416 (BIA 2007)
The respondent’s 2003 Florida offense involving the simple possession of marijuana does not qualify as an “aggravated felony” by virtue of its correspondence to the Federal felony of “recidivist possession,” even though it was committed after a prior “conviction” for a “drug, narcotic, or chemical offense” became “final” within the meaning of 21 U.S.C. § 844(a) (2000), because the respondent’s conviction for that 2003 offense did not arise from a State proceeding in which his status as a recidivist drug offender was either admitted or determined by a judge or jury. Matter of Carachuri-Rosendo, 24 I&N Dec. 382 (BIA 2007), followed.

              Matter of Aruna, 24 I&N Dec. 452 (BIA 2008) 
Absent controlling precedent to the contrary, a State law misdemeanor offense ofconspiracy to distribute marijuana qualifies as an “aggravated felony” under section>101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(B) (2000),where its elements correspond to the elements of the Federal felony offense of conspiracy to distribute an indeterminate quantity of marijuana, as defined by 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(D), and 846 (2000 & Supp. IV 2004).


Matter of Sanchez-Cornejo, 25 I&N Dec. 273 (BIA 2010)
The offense of delivery of a simulated controlled substance in violation of Texas law is not an aggravated felony, as defined by section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(B) (2006), but it is a violation of a law relating to a controlled substance under former section 241(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(B)(i) (1994).

Crimes of Violence
Matter of Magallanes, 22 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 1998) (Driving Under the Influence) (overruled by Matter of Ramos, 23 I&N Dec. 336 (BIA 2002)
An alien who was convicted of aggravated driving while under the influence and sentenced to 2½ years in prison was convicted of a “crime of violence” within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (to be codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F)), and therefore is deportable under section 241(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(A)(iii)(1994), as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony.

Matter of Puente, 22 I&N Dec. 1006 (BIA 1999) (Driving Under the Influence) (overruled by Matter of Ramos, 23 I&N Dec. 336 (BIA 2002)
A conviction for the crime of driving while intoxicated under section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code, which is a felony as a result of an enhanced punishment, is a conviction for a crime of violence and therefore an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (Supp. II 1996).

Matter of Herrera, 23 I&N Dec. 43 (BIA 2001) (Driving Under the Influence)
Respondent’s motion for a stay of deportation, pending consideration of his simultaneously filed motion to reopen and reconsider, is granted in light of the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in United States v. Chapa-Garza, 2001 WL 209468 (5th Cir. 2001), which held that a conviction for driving while intoxicated in violation of section 49.09 of the Texas Penal Code is not a conviction for a crime of violence under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (Supp. V 1999).

Matter of Olivares, 23 I&N Dec. 148 (BIA 2001) (Driving Under the Influence)
Under United States v. Chapa-Garza, 243 F.3d 921 (5th Cir. 2001), and United States v. Hernandez-Avalos, 251 F.3d 505 (5th Cir. 2001), a Texas conviction for felony DWI is not classifiable as a crime of violence conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) (1994) for purposes of removability in cases arising in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; accordingly, in cases arising in the Fifth Circuit, Matter of Puente, 22 I&N Dec. 1006 (BIA 1999), will not be applied.

Matter of Sweetser, 22 I&N Dec. 709 (BIA 1999) (Criminally Negligent Child Abuse)
(1) Where the state statute under which an alien has been convicted is divisible, meaning it encompasses offenses that constitute crimes of violence as defined under 18 U.S.C. § 16 (1994) and offenses that do not, it is necessary to look to the record of conviction, and to other documents admissible as evidence in proving a criminal conviction, to determine whether the specific offense of which the alien was convicted constitutes an aggravated felony as defined in section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (Supp. II 1996).
(2) for purposes of determining whether an offense is a crime of violence as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 16(b), it is necessary to examine the criminal conduct required for conviction, rather than the consequence of the crime, to find if the offense, by its nature, involves “a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.”
(3) To find that a criminal offense is a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b), a causal link between the potential for harm and the "substantial risk" of "physical force" being used must be present. Matter of Magallanes, 22 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 1998), clarified.
(4) An alien convicted of criminally negligent child abuse under sections 18-6-401(1) and (7) of the Colorado Revised Statutes, whose negligence in leaving his stepson alone in a bathtub resulted in the child’s death, was not convicted of a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) because there was not substantial risk that physical force "would be used in the commission of the crime."

Matter of Aldabesheh, 22 I&N Dec. 983 (BIA 1999) (Criminal Contempt and Forgery)
(1) A conviction for criminal contempt in the first degree, in violation of section 215.51(b)(i) of the New York Penal Law, with a sentence to imprisonment of at least 1 year, is a conviction for a crime of violence as defined under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) (1994), thus rendering it an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (Supp. II 1996).
(2) A conviction for forgery in the second degree, in violation of section 170.10(2) of the New York Penal Law, with a sentence to imprisonment of at least 1 year, is a conviction for an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(R) of the Act.
(3) Where an alien has been convicted of two or more aggravated felonies and has received concurrent sentences to imprisonment, the alien’s "aggregate term of imprisonment," for purposes of determining eligibility for withholding of removal under section 241(b)(3) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3) (Supp. II 1996), is equal to the length of the alien’s longest concurrent sentence.

              Matter of Ramos, 23 I&N Dec. 336 (BIA 2002)
(1) In cases arising in circuits where the federal court of appeals has not decided whether the offense of driving under the influence is a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) (2000), an offense will be considered a crime of violence if it is committed at least recklessly and involves a substantial risk that the perpetrator may resort to the use of force to carry out the crime; otherwise, where the circuit court has ruled on the issue, the law of the circuit will be applied to cases arising in that jurisdiction.
(2) The offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor in violation of chapter 90, section 24(1)(a)(1) of the Massachusetts General Laws is not a felony that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense and is therefore not a crime of violence. Matter of Puente, 22 I&N Dec. 1006 (BIA 1999), and Matter of Magallanes, 22 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 1998), overruled.

Matter of Martin, 23 I&N Dec. 491 (BIA 2002)
The offense of third-degree assault in violation of section 53a-61(a)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes, which involves the intentional infliction of physical injury upon another, is a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(a) (2000) and is therefore an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (2000).

Matter of Vargas, 23 I&N Dec. 651 (BIA 2004
The offense of manslaughter in the first degree in violation of section 125.20 of the New York Penal Law is a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 18(b) (2000) and is therefore an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (2000).

            Matter of Malta, 23 I&N Dec. 656 (BIA 2004)
A stalking offense for harassing conduct in violation of section 646.9(b) of the California Penal Code, which proscribes stalking when there is a temporary restraining order, injunction, or any other court order in effect prohibiting the stalking behavior, is a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) (2000), and is therefore an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (2000).

Matter of Perez-Ramirez, 25 I&N Dec. 203 (BIA 2010)
(1) Where a criminal alien’s sentence has been modified to include a term of imprisonment following a violation of probation, the resulting sentence to confinement is considered to be part of the penalty imposed for the original underlying crime, rather than punishment for a separate offense.

(2) An alien’s misdemeanor conviction for willful infliction of corporal injury on a spouse in violation of section 273.5(a) of the California Penal Code qualifies categorically as a conviction for a “crime of violence” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 16(a) (2006).

Matter of Ramon Martinez, 25 I&N Dec. 571 (BIA 2011)
A violation of section 220 of the California Penal Code is categorically a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. §§ 16(a) and (b) (2006).

Date of Conviction
Matter of Lettman, 22 I&N Dec. 365 (BIA 1998)
An alien convicted of an aggravated felony is subject to deportation regardless of the date of the conviction when the alien is placed in deportation proceedings on or after March 1, 1991, and the crime falls within the aggravated felony definition.

Matter of Truon, 22 I&N Dec. 1090 (BIA 1999)
(1) An alien whose June 8, 1987, conviction for second degree robbery was not, at the time of his conviction, included in the aggravated felony definition was not deportable, even after that offense was included in the aggravated felony definition as a crime of violence under the Immigration Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-649, 104 Stat. 4978, due to its provisions regarding effective dates; however, the alien became deportable upon enactment of section 321(b) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Division C of Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-546, 3009-628 (enacted Sept. 30, 1996) (“IIRIRA”), because that section established an aggravated felony definition that is to be applied without temporal limitations, regardless of the date of conviction. 
(2) The term “actions taken” in section 321(c) of the IIRIRA, 110 Stat. at 3009-628, which limits the applicability of the aggravated felony definition of section 321(b), includes consideration of a case by the Board of Immigration Appeals; therefore that section’s aggravated felony definition is applicable to cases decided by the Board on or after the IIRIRA’s September 30, 1996, enactment date. 
(3) The Attorney General’s decision in Matter of Soriano, 21 I&N Dec. 516 (BIA 1996; A.G. 1997), remains binding on the Board, notwithstanding decisions in some courts of appeals that have rejected that decision.

Divisible Statutes

Matter of Sweetser, 22 I&N Dec. 709 (BIA 1999)
(1) Where the state statute under which an alien has been convicted is divisible, meaning it encompasses offenses that constitute crimes of violence as defined under 18 U.S.C. § 16 (1994) and offenses that do not, it is necessary to look to the record of conviction, and to other documents admissible as evidence in proving a criminal conviction, to determine whether the specific offense of which the alien was convicted constitutes an aggravated felony as defined in section 101(a)(43)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F) (Supp. II 1996).
(2) For purposes of determining whether an offense is a crime of violence as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 16(b), it is necessary to examine the criminal conduct required for conviction, rather than the consequence of the crime, to find if the offense, by its nature, involves “a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.”
(3) To find that a criminal offense is a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b), a causal link between the potential for harm and the "substantial risk" of "physical force" being used must be present. Matter of Magallanes, 22 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 1998), clarified.
(4) An alien convicted of criminally negligent child abuse under sections 18-6-401(1) and (7) of the Colorado Revised Statutes, whose negligence in leaving his stepson alone in a bathtub resulted in the child’s death, was not convicted of a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) because there was not "substantial risk that physical force" would be used in the commission of the crime.
Firearms
Matter of Vasquez-Muniz, 22 I&N Dec. 1415 (BIA 2000) (overruled by Matter of Vasquez-Muniz, 23 I&N Dec. 207 (BIA 2002))
Possession of a firearm by a felon in violation of section 12021(a)(1) of the California Penal Code is not an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(E) (1994), because it is not an offense “described in” 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (1994).

            Matter of Vasquez-Muniz, 23 I&N Dec. 207 (BIA 2002)
(1) An offense defined by state or foreign law may be classified as an aggravated felony as an offense "described in" a federal statute enumerated in section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43) (1994 & Supp. V 1999), even if it lacks the jurisdictional element of the federal statute.
(2) Possession of a firearm by a felon in violation of section 12021(a)(1) of the California Penal Code is an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(E)(ii) of the Act because it is "described in" 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (1994). Matter of Vasquez-Muniz, 22 I&N Dec. 1415 (BIA 2000), overruled.

Fraud and Deceit

Matter of Onyido, 22 I&N Dec. 552 (BIA 1999)
An alien who was convicted of submitting a false claim with intent to defraud arising from an unsuccessful scheme to obtain $15,000 from an insurance company was convicted of an “attempt” to commit a fraud in which the loss to the victim exceeded $10,000 within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(U) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(U) (Supp. II 1996), and therefore is deportable under section 241(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(A)(iii) (1994), as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony.

            Matter of Babaisakov, 24 I&N Dec. 306 (BIA 2007)
(1) A single ground for removal may require proof of a conviction tied to the statutory elements of a criminal offense, as well as proof of an additional fact or facts that are not tied to the statutory elements of any such offense.
(2) When a removal charge depends on proof of both the elements leading to a conviction and some nonelement facts, the nonelement facts may be determined by means of evidence beyond the limited “record of conviction” that may be considered by courts employing the “categorical approach,” the “modified categorical approach,” or a comparable “divisibility analysis,” although the record of conviction may also be a suitable source of proof, depending on the circumstances.
(3) Section 101(a)(43)(M)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(M)(i) (2000), which defines the term “aggravated felony” to mean “an offense that involves fraud or deceit in which the loss to the victim or victims exceeds $10,000,” depends on proof of both a conviction having an element of fraud or deceit and the nonelement fact of a loss exceeding $10,000 that is tied to the conviction.
(4) Because the phrase “in which the loss to the victim or victims exceeds $10,000” is not tied to an element of the fraud or deceit offense, the loss determination is not subject to the limitations of the categorical approach, the modified categorical approach, or a divisibility analysis and may be proved by evidence outside the record of conviction, provided that the loss is still shown to relate to the conduct of which the person was convicted and, for removal purposes, is proven by clear and convincing evidence.
(5) The Immigration Judge erred in declining to consider a presentence investigation report as proof of victim loss because of his mistaken belief that he was restricted to consideration of the respondent’s record of conviction.

             Matter of S-I-K-, 24 I&N Dec. 324 (BIA 2007)
An alien convicted of conspiracy is removable as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony within the meaning of sections 101(a)(43)(M)(i) and (U) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101(a)(43)(M)(i) and (U) (2000), where the substantive crime that was the object of the conspiracy was an offense that involved “fraud or deceit” and where the potential loss to the victim or victims exceeded $10,000.

Misprision of a Felony
Matter of Espinoza, 22 I&N Dec. 889 (BIA 1999)
A conviction for misprision of a felony under 18 U.S.C. § 4 (1994) does not constitute a conviction for an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(S) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(S) (Supp. II 1996), as an offense relating to obstruction of justice. Matter of Batista-Hernandez, 21 I&N Dec. 955 (BIA 1997), distinguished.

Obstruction of Justice

Matter of Batista, 21 I&N Dec. 955 (BIA 1997)
(1) The offense of accessory after the fact to a drug-trafficking crime, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3 (Supp. V 1993), is not considered an inchoate crime and is not sufficiently related to a controlled substance violation to support a finding of deportability pursuant to section 241(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(B)(i) (1994).
(2) The respondent’s conviction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3 establishes his deportability as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony under section 241(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act,because the offense of accessory after the fact falls within the definition of an obstruction of justice crime under section 101(a)(43)(S) of the Act, 8 U.S.C.A. § 1101(a)(43)(S) (West Supp. 1997), and because the respondent’s sentence, regardless of any suspension of the imposition or execution of that sentence, “is at least one year.”>

Perjury
            Matter of Martinez-Recinos, 23 I&N Dec. 175 (BIA 2001)
A conviction for perjury in violation of section 118(a) of the California Penal Code constitutes a conviction for an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(S) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(S) (Supp. V 1999).

Prostitution for Commercial Advantage

              Matter of Gertsenshteyn, 24 I&N Dec. 111 (BIA 2007)
(1) The categorical approach to determining whether a criminal offense satisfies a particular ground of removal does not apply to the inquiry whether a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(a) was committed for “commercial advantage” and thus qualifies as an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(K)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(K)(ii) (2000), where “commercial advantage” is not an element of the offense and the evidence relating to that issue is not ordinarily likely to be found in the record of conviction.
(2) The respondent’s offense was committed for “commercial advantage” where it was evident from the record of proceeding, including the respondent’s testimony, that he knew that his employment activity was designed to create a profit for the prostitution business for which he worked.

Rape
Matter of B-, 21 I&N Dec. 287 (BIA 1996)
The respondent's conviction for second-degree rape under Article 27, section 463(a)(3) of the Annotated Code of Maryland, for which he was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment, constitutes a "crime of violence" under 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) (1994) and, hence, an "aggravated felony" under section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43) (1994).

Robbery

Matter of Truong, 22 I&N Dec. 1090 (BIA 1999)
(1) An alien whose June 8, 1987, conviction for second degree robbery was not, at the time of his conviction, included in the aggravated felony definition was not deportable, even after that offense was included in the aggravated felony definition as a crime of violence under the Immigration Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-649, 104 Stat. 4978, due to its provisions regarding effective dates; however, the alien became deportable upon enactment of section 321(b) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Division C of Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-546, 3009-628 (enacted Sept. 30, 1996) (“IIRIRA”), because that section established an aggravated felony definition that is to be applied without temporal limitations, regardless of the date of conviction.
(2) The term “actions taken” in section 321(c) of the IIRIRA, 110 Stat. at 3009-628, which limits the applicability of the aggravated felony definition of section 321(b), includes consideration of a case by the Board of Immigration Appeals; therefore that section’s aggravated felony definition is applicable to cases decided by the Board on or after the IIRIRA’s September 30, 1996, enactment date.
(3) The Attorney General’s decision in Matter of Soriano, 21 I&N Dec. 516 (BIA 1996; A.G. 1997), remains binding on the Board, notwithstanding decisions in some courts of appeals that have rejected that decision.

Section 212(h) Waivers
Matter of Pineda, 21 I&N Dec. 1017 (BIA 1997)
(1) Section 348(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, enacted as Division C of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, and the Judiciary Appropriations Act for 1997, Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009, _____ (“IIRIRA”), enacted on September 30, 1996, amended section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(h) (1994), to add restrictions precluding a grant of a waiver to any alien admitted as a lawful permanent resident who either has been convicted of an aggravated felony since the date of admission or did not have 7 years of continuous residence prior to the initiation of immigration proceedings.
(2) Section 348(b) of the IIRIRA provides that the restrictions in the amendments to section 212(h) of the Act apply to aliens in exclusion or deportation proceedings as of September 30, 1996, unless a final order of deportation has been entered as of such date.
(3) An aggravated felon who had a final administrative order of deportation as of September 30, 1996, would be subject to the restrictions on eligibility for a section 212(h) waiver if his proceedings were thereafter reopened; therefore, his motion to reopen deportation proceedings to apply for adjustment of status in conjunction with a section 212(h) waiver was properly denied.

Matter of Michel, 21 I&N Dec. 1101 (BIA 1998)
(1) Pursuant to 62 Fed. Reg. 10,312, 10,369 (to be codified at 8 C.F.R. § 240.10(a)(1) (interim, effective Apr. 1, 1997), an Immigration Judge must ascertain whether an alien desires representation in removal proceedings.
(2) An alien who has not previously been admitted to the United States as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence is statutorily eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility under section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (to be codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1182(h)), despite his conviction for an aggravated felony.

Sentence Enhancement 
Matter of K-V-D-, 22 I&N Dec. 1163 (BIA 1999) 
(1) Where a circuit court of appeals has interpreted the definition of an “aggravated felony” under section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43) ( 1994), only for purposes of criminal sentence enhancement, the Board of Immigration Appeals may interpret the phrase differently for purposes of implementing the immigration laws in cases arising within that circuit. 
(2) An alien convicted in Texas of simple possession of a controlled substance, which would be a felony under Texas law but a misdemeanor under federal law, is not convicted of an aggravated felony within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Act. Matter of L-G-, 21 I&N Dec. 89 (BIA 1995), affirmed.

Sexual Abuse of a Minor 
Matter of Rodriguez-Rodriguez, 22 I&N Dec. 991 (BIA 1999)
The offense of indecency with a child by exposure pursuant to section 21.11(a)(2) of the Texas Penal Code Annotated constitutes sexual abuse of a minor and is therefore an aggravated felony within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(A) (Supp. II 1996).

Matter of Crammond, 23 I&N Dec. 38 (BIA 2001) (vacated by Matter of Crammond, 23 I&N Dec. 179 (BIA 2001))
 (1) A conviction for “murder, rape, or sexual abuse of a minor” must be for a felony offense in order for the crime to be considered an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(A) (Supp. V 1999).
 (2) In determining whether a state conviction is for a felony offense for immigration purposes, the Board of Immigration Appeals applies the federal definition of a felony set forth at 18 U.S.C. § 3559(a)(5) (1994).

 Matter of Small, 23 I&N Dec. 448 (BIA 2002)
A misdemeanor offense of sexual abuse of a minor constitutes an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(A) (2000).

Matter of V-F-D-, 23 I&N Dec. 859 (BIA 2006)
A victim of sexual abuse who is under the age of 18 is a “minor” for purposes of determining whether an alien has been convicted of sexual abuse of a minor within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101(a)(43)(A) (2000).

Theft Offenses
Matter of V-Z-S-, 22 I&N Dec. 1338 (BIA 2000)
(1) A taking of property constitutes a “theft offense” within the definition of an aggravated felony in section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“Act”), 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G) (Supp. IV 1998), whenever there is criminal intent to deprive the owner of the rights and benefits of ownership, even if such deprivation is less than total or permanent.
(2) The respondent’s conviction for unlawful driving and taking of a vehicle in violation of section 10851 of the California Vehicle Code is a “theft offense” under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Act.

Matter of Bahta, 22 I&N Dec. 1381 (BIA 2000) (Possession of Stolen Property
(1) The respondent’s conviction for attempted possession of stolen property, in violation of sections 193.330 and 205.275 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, is a conviction for an attempted “theft offense (including receipt of stolen property),” and therefore an aggravated felony, within the meaning of sections 101(a)(43)(G) and (U) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101(a)(43)(G) and (U) (Supp. IV 1998).
(2) The Immigration and Naturalization Service retains prosecutorial discretion to decide whether or not to commence removal proceedings against a respondent subsequent to the enactment of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Division C of Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-546.

Matter of Garcia-Madruga, 24 I&N Dec. 436 (BIA 2008)
(1) A “theft offense” within the definition of an aggravated felony in section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G) (2000), ordinarily requires the taking of, or exercise of control over, property without consent and with the criminal intent to deprive the owner of the rights and benefits of ownership, even if such deprivation is less than total or permanent. Matter of V-Z-S-, 22 I&N Dec. 1338 (BIA 2000), clarified.
(2) The respondent’s welfare fraud offense in violation of section 40-6-15 of the General Laws of Rhode Island is not a “theft offense” under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Act.

Matter of CARDIEL, 25 I&N Dec. 12 (BIA 2009)
A conviction for receipt of stolen property under section 496(a) of the California Penal Code, with a sentence of imprisonment of at least 1 year, categorically qualifies as a receipt of stolen property aggravated felony conviction under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(G) (2006).

Transportation of Undocumented Aliens
 Matter of Ruiz, 22 I&N Dec. 486 (BIA 1999) 
An alien who is convicted of transporting an illegal alien within the United States in violation of section 274(a)(1)(A)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii) (1994), was convicted of an aggravated felony as defined in section 101(a)(43)(N) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(N) (Supp. II 1996), and is therefore deportable under section 241(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(A)(iii) (1994), as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony. Matter of I-M-, 7 I&N Dec. 389 (BIA 1957), distinguished.

(1) Some Precedent Decisions Dealing with General Eligibility for Adjustment of Status to That of Permanent Resident :

Matter of Egbunine , 19 I. & N. Dec. 478 (BIA, 1987) . An alien may not adjust his status if he seeks to receive an immigrant visa on the basis of a marriage which was entered into while the alien was in immigration proceedings.

Matter of Arthur , 20 I. & N. Dec. 475 (BIA, 1992) . Alien may adjust status based on a marriage entered into after the commencement of proceedings if the alien establishes "by clear and convincing evidence to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that the marriage was entered into in good faith and ...was not entered into for the purpose of procuring the alien's entry as an immigrant."

Matter of Ching , 15 I. & N. Dec. 772 (BIA, 1976) . Where a visa petition has not been approved, applicant is statutorily ineligible for section 245 relief.

Matter of Stockwell , 20 I. & N. Dec. 309 (BIA, 1991) . Section 245(d) of the Act does not prohibit an alien whose conditional permanent resident status has been terminated from adjusting his status under section 245(a).

Matter of Tabcum , 14 I. & N. Dec. 113 (R.C., 1972) . An alien who is the "accompanying spouse" of an exchange visitor's alien is subject to the foreign residence requirement of section 212(e) and is therefore ineligible for adjustment of status.

Matter of Davis , 10 I. & N. Dec. 441 (BIA, 1964) . An alien who entered the U.S. as a transit without visa is ineligible for adjustment of status.

Matter of Loo Bing Sun , 15 I. & N. Dec. 307 (BIA, 1975) . An alien admitted with a nonquota immigrant visa procured by fraud is ineligible for adjustment of status if inadmissible under section 212(a)(19) and ineligible for 212(i) waivers.

Matter of Monteran , 11 I. & N. Dec. 717 (BIA, 1966) . An alien who (1) was born in the U.S., (2) expatriated abroad, and (3) was paroled into the U.S., is eligible for adjustment of status.

Matter of Krastman , 11 I. & N. Dec. 720 (BIA, 1966) . An alien who, following lawful admission to the U.S. for permanent residence, became deportable because of conviction for crimes involving moral turpitude, is not precluded from establishing statutory eligibility for adjustment of status.

Matter of Sanchez-Linn , 20 I. & N. Dec. 362 (BIA, 1991) . An applicant for registry under section 249 of the Act must prove he or she is at present a person of good moral character, and has been such for a reasonable period of time preceding the application.

Matter of Naulu , 19 I. & N. Dec. 351 (BIA, 1986) . A derivative beneficiary "accompanying or following to join" the principal alien cannot precede the principle. However, once the principal acquires permanent resident status, the spouse and/or child is not barred from adjustment by reason of having preceded him as a nonimmigrant.

(2) Some Precedent Decisions Dealing with Whether an Alien Has Been Inspected and Admitted or Paroled .


Matter of Areguillin , 17 I. & N. 308 (BIA, 1980) ; Matter of V-Q- , 9 I. & N. Dec. 78 (BIA, 1960) ; Matter of Wong , 12 I. & N. Dec. 733 (BIA, 1968) . Physically presenting oneself for questioning and making no knowing false claim to U.S. citizenship constitutes being inspected and admitted for section 245 purposes.

Matter of Areguillin , 17 I. & N. Dec. 308 (BIA, 1980) . The alien bears the burden of proving presentation of inspection to establish eligibility for adjustment of status.

Matter of Wong , 12 I. & N. Dec. 733 (BIA, 1968) ; Matter of Woo , 11 I. & N. Dec. 706 (BIA, 1966) . An alien who gains admission to the U.S. by a knowing false claim to citizenship has not been "inspected and admitted".

Matter of Robles , 15 I. & N. Dec. 734 (BIA, 1976) . Entry after intentionally evading the inspection required by the immigration laws and regulations is an entry without inspection, and the alien cannot be deemed inspected and admitted.

Matter of Lim , 10 I. & N. Dec. 653 (BIA, 1963) . An alien who entered as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard is ineligible for adjustment of status, because he was not inspected and admitted, or paroled into the U.S.


(3) Some Precedent Decisions Dealing with Crewman Arriving by or Destined to a Vessel :

Matter of Rebelo , 13 I. & N. Dec. 84 (BIA, 1968) distinguished; Matter of Campton , 13 I. & N. Dec. 535 (BIA, 1970) . An alien who is a crewman by occupation and whose last entry was sought and gained solely as a crewman is ineligible for adjustment of status notwithstanding an earlier admission as a temporary visitor for pleasure. (What matters is the most recent entry. For example, if an alien who is a crewman by profession last sought entry as a visitor for pleasure and was admitted as such (or paroled), he or she is eligible to apply for adjustment of status.

Matter of Goncalves , 10 I. & N. Dec. 277 (BIA, 1963) . An alien's entry in transit as a seaman to join a ship and depart constitutes entry as a crewman, and he or she is therefore ineligible to apply for adjustment of status.

Matter of Quintero-Correa , 11 I. & N. Dec. 343 (BIA, 1964) . Arrival as a "workaway" does not preclude adjustment of status in the case of an alien who has no background as an occupation seaman, who was in possession of a valid unexpired nonimmigrant visa, and who was inspected and admitted as a temporary visitor for pleasure.


(4) Some Precedent Decisions Dealing with Unauthorized Employment :

Matter of Raol , 16 I. & N. Dec. 466 (BIA, 1978) . An alien's employment is unauthorized unless the Service has specifically approved the employment. A labor certification issued by the Secretary of Labor does not, in itself, authorize an alien's employment in the U.S.

Matter of Tien , 17 I. & N. Dec. 436 (BIA, 1980) . When the basis for an alien's application for adjustment has ceased to exist (e.g., if the alien no longer intends to work for the employer who obtained his or her labor certification), the application is deemed abandoned, and the alien is no longer exempted from section 245(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Matter of Hall , 18 I. & N. Dec. 203 (BIA, 1982) ; A alien who engages in fund-raising activities as part of his missionary work and receives full support is considered to have engaged in unauthorized employment and is therefore barred from adjusting status.


(5) Some Precedent Decisions Dealing with an Alien Who Is Likely to Become a Public Charge :

Matter of Vindman , 16 I. & N. Dec. 131 (R.C., 1977) . Where the record reflects applicants were receiving public assistance with no prospects for their earning a livelihood or providing self support the application for adjustment of status would be denied.

Matter of Perez , 15 I. & N. Dec. 136 (BIA, 1974) . The fact that an alien has been on welfare does not, by itself, establish likelihood of becoming a public charge.

Matter of Harutunian , 14 I. & N. Dec. 583 (R.C., 1974) ; Matter of Vindman , 16 I. & N. Dec. 131 (R.C., 1977). A determination as to the likelihood of becoming a public charge should take into consideration factors such as an alien's age, incapability of earning a livelihood, a lack of sufficient funds for self-support, and lack of a person willing and able to assure that the alien will not need public support.


(6) Some Precedent Decisions Dealing with Discretionary Denials :

Matter of Marques , 16 I. & N. Dec. 314 (BIA, 1977) . An applicant for adjustment who meets the objective prerequisites is merely eligible for adjustment of status and is in no way entitled to adjustment.

Matter of Arthur , 20 I. & N. Dec 475 (BIA, 1992) . Motions to reopen for consideration of applications for adjustment of status based upon unadjudicated visa petitions which fall within the ambit of sections 204(g) and 245(e) (married while in proceedings) will not be granted.

Matter of Lee , 13 I. & N. Dec. 236 (BIA, 1969) ; Matter of Tayeb , 12 I. & N. Dec. 739 (BIA, 1968) . Consideration must be given to an advisory report from the Department of State which indicates the alien's adjustment would have an adverse effect on relations with the applicant's government.

Matter of Barrios , 10 I. & N. Dec. 172 (BIA, 1963) . The favorable exercise of discretion is warranted when an alien entered the U.S. as a nonimmigrant fully intending to comply with the terms of admission and did not formulate a specific intention to become a permanent resident until after arrival.

Matter of Francois , 10 I. & N. Dec. 168 (BIA, 1963) ; Matter of Marques , 16 I. & N. Dec. 314 (BIA, 1977) . Good moral character is a factor which must be considered in determining whether discretion should be exercised in a particular case.

Matter of Khan , 17 I. & N. Dec. 508 (BIA, 1980) . Unauthorized employment alone should not ordinarily result in the discretionary denial of adjustment to those individuals who are statutorily eligible for that relief, no other negative considerations being present.

Matter of Aguirre , 13 I. & N. Dec. 661 (BIA, 1971) . An officer must make an independent exercise of discretion on all the facts present.

Matter of Blas , 15 I. & N. Dec. 626 (A.G., 1976) . Although family ties will ordinarily result in favorable exercise of discretion, they neither must nor should be used where it appears that the alien has engaged in a course of deception designed to produce those very ties.

Matter of Kai Hing Hui , 15 I. & N. Dec. 288 (BIA, 1975) . An alien who gained entry by using a nonresident alien Mexican border crossing card obtained by misrepresentation is excludable under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i), and the case does not merit the favorable exercise of discretion.

Matter of Tanahan , 18 I. & N. Dec. 339 (R.C., 1981) . Adjustment of status under section 245 was not designed to supersede the regular consular visa-issuing processes or to be granted in non-meritorious cases.

Matter of Arai , 13 I. & N. Dec. 494 (BIA, 1970) ; Matter of Leung , 16 I. & N. Dec. 12 (DD, 1976) . Where adverse factors are present in a given application for adjustment of status, it may be necessary for the applicant to offset these by a showing of unusual or even outstanding equities. In the absence of adverse factors, adjustment will ordinarily be granted as a matter of discretion.

Matter of Garcia-Castillo , 10 I. & N. Dec. 516 (BIA, 1964) . Entry as a nonimmigrant with a preconceived intention to remain is a serious adverse factor to be considered.

Matter of Cavazos , 17 I. & N. Dec. 215 (BIA, 1980) . In the absence of other adverse factors, an application for adjustment by an immediate relative should generally be granted in the exercise of discretion notwithstanding the fact that the applicant entered as a nonimmigrant with a preconceived intention to remain.

Matter of Ibrahim , 18 I. & N. Dec. 55 (BIA, 1981). The benefits of Matter of Cavazos , supra , are limited to immediate relatives, and an application for adjustment by a fifth preference immigrant with a preconceived intention to remain is properly denied in the exercise of discretion.

Matter of Baltazar , 16 I. & N. Dec. 108 (BIA, 1977) . Evidence indicating that the alien obtained a sham divorce primarily to obtain immigration benefits is a significant adverse factor bearing on discretion.

Matter of Ozcan , 15 I. & N. Dec. 301 (BIA, 1975) . An alien who has misstated or at least materially overstated qualifications on an application for a labor certification does not warrant the favorable exercise of discretion.

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