- Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
- Area(s) of Law: Immigration
- Date Filed: December 18, 2019
- Case #: 19-438
- Judge(s)/Court Below: 916 F.3d 1128 (8th Cir. 2019)
- Full Text Opinion
Petitioner applied for cancellation of removal during his deportation proceeding. There is a circuit split as to whether an ambiguous record of conviction falls under the federal definition of a disqualifying offense under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1229b(b)(1), and automatically bars relief from removal. The Eighth Circuit held that Petitioner was ineligible for cancellation because his prior conviction for attempted criminal impersonation had not been disproven to qualify as a “crime involving moral turpitude” under §1229b(b)(1)(C). Petitioner asks the Supreme Court to determine whether a criminal conviction bars a noncitizen from applying for relief from removal when the record of conviction is merely ambiguous as to whether it corresponds to an offense listed in the INA. Petitioner argues that the Eighth Circuit’s reasoning contradicts the Court’s decision in Moncrieffe v. Holder, 569 U.S. 184 (2013), which held that courts “must presume that the conviction ‘rested upon nothing more than the least of the acts’ criminalized.” Petitioner also argues that it is necessary for the Court to resolve this circuit split in order to promote uniformity in this country’s immigration laws. Petitioner further argues that this is a common issue and the stakes of deportation are so high that results cannot be allowed to turn on the circuit in which removal proceedings take place.