Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 7.9 A. Definition of Conviction Applies in All Immigration Contexts

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In 1996, for the first time, Congress enacted a statutory definition of “conviction.”[15]  This statute modified the definition of “conviction” enunciated by the BIA in Matter of Ozkok.[16]  The term “conviction” has the same statutory meaning for all immigration purposes, including inadmissibility and deportability.[17] 

[15] INA § 101(a)(48)(A), 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(48)(A), as enacted by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA) (enacted as Division C of Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 1997, Pub. L. No. 104-208, § 322(a)(1), 110 Stat. 3009, 3009-628). 

[16] Matter of Ozkok, 19 I. & N. Dec. 546 (BIA 1988); see also Matter of Punu, 22 I. & N. Dec. 224 (BIA 1998) (holding that Congress deliberately changed the Ozkok test).

[17] Marino v. INS, 537 F.2d 686 (2d Cir. 1976).