Criminal Defense of Immigrants
§ 19.95 KK. Vehicles With ID Numbers Removed - Trafficking
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The aggravated felony statute includes “an offense relating to commercial bribery, counterfeiting, forgery, or trafficking in vehicles the identification numbers of which have been altered for which the term of imprisonment is at least one year.” The elements of the trafficking in vehicles ground are:
(1) a conviction of an offense
(2) relating to
(3) trafficking in
(4) vehicles the identification numbers of which have been altered
(5) for which the term of imprisonment is at least one year.
If the government fails to establish any one of these essential elements by clear and convincing evidence, the ground of deportation has not been established.
The concept of trafficking appears in two other aggravated felony categories, trafficking in controlled substances, and trafficking in firearms or destructive devices. See § § 19.61, 19.69, supra. Trafficking requires a commercial element. Mere transfer of a vehicle without consideration would not be included in this category. It is also worth examining the definition of “vehicle,” which arguably is a short form of “motor vehicle” meaning essentially car or truck, and if so this category would not apply to bicycles, airplanes, or other vehicles outside the definition. The legislative history of this provision should be examined.
 INA § 101(a)(43)(R), 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(R) (emphasis supplied).