Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 18.19 a. Admission of Commission of a Controlled Substances Offense

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Admitting[176] the commission of a controlled substances offense, or acts which constitute the essential elements of the violation of any law or regulation of a State, the United States or a foreign country related to a controlled substance will trigger inadmissibility.[177]  There are only a few available means to waive inadmissibility under this ground.[178]


[176] See § 18.8, supra.

[177] INA § 212(A)(2)(A)(i)(II), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(II).  See § 21.5, infra.

[178] See § 21.16, infra.



Ninth Circuit

Esquivel-Garcia v. Holder, 593 F.3d 1025 (9th Cir. Jan. 28, 2010) (testimony before IJ that conviction involved a federally listed controlled substance sufficient to establish inadmissibility under INA 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II), admitting commission of a controlled substances offense). NOTE: This decision was not well considered. The court did not consider the effect of Matter of Winter, 12 I. & N. Dec. 638, 642 (BIA 1967, 1968) ("the plea to an indictment or complaint is so much an integral part of the entire criminal proceeding that it cannot be isolated from the final result of that proceeding, and given more force or finality than that result"), and related cases. The court also did not address the issue of whether the "admission" was properly taken by the Immigration Judge. See Matter of K, 7 I. & N. Dec. 594, 597 (BIA 1957).