IRLI Files Brief to Assist the Board of Immigration Appeals in Applying “Crime Involving Moral Turpi

Press Releases

July 13, 2017

Assisting Government Administrative Tribunals Properly Interpret the Law

(Washington, D.C.) – This week, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed an amicus brief (attached here) with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in a case involving a lawful permanent resident convicted of robbery by sudden snatching. IRLI filed the brief on behalf of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), who has assisted the BIA with interpreting the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) for more than 20 years.

In this case, the BIA seeks to determine whether the convicted alien’s crime is a “crime involving moral turpitude” (CIMT). An alien convicted of a CIMT is removable from the United States under the INA.

In its brief, IRLI advised the BIA that the alien’s conviction does indeed qualify as a CIMT. Specifically, IRLI advised the BIA that it is not precluded from applying the modified categorical approach to CIMTs where the conviction or admission involves an indivisible statute. IRLI noted that permitting the modified categorical approach to apply to indivisible CIMT determinations will require the BIA to amend its prior precedent in Matter of Silva-Trevino, which the Board can freely do. IRLI also advised the BIA that it is not required to adopt the contrary categorical and modified categorical approaches set forth in Supreme Court precedent, because the justifications listed in precedent do not have force in the CIMT context.

Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director, commented, “The current method of analyzing CIMTs is under-inclusive and as a result criminal aliens convicted of reprehensible crimes remain free to roam our streets.” Wilcox continued, “For the safety and security of all Americans, we hope the BIA heeds our advice and broadens its interpretation of CIMT statutes.”

For additional information, contact: Jade Haney • 202-232-5590 • [email protected]

Get Connected

Sign up for our email newsletter to stay up to date with immigration reform in the United States.

Attorneys United for a Secure America (AUSA) is a non-partisan affiliation of talented attorneys dedicated to pursuing cases that serve the national interest when it comes to immigration law.

If you are interested in joining the network, visit the AUSA website.