Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 21.18 (D)

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(D)  Crime of Moral Turpitude. A simple possessory offense or its equivalent does not trigger inadmissibility as a crime of moral turpitude.[157]

[157] Matter of Abreu-Semino, 12 I. & N. Dec. 775 (BIA 1968) (conviction for unlawful possession of LSD under 21 U.S.C. § 331(q)(3) was not crime involving moral turpitude because intent was not an essential element of the offense).  See also Hampton v. Wong Ging, 299 F. 289, 290 (9th Cir. 1924) (possession conviction under the Narcotic Act was not a crime of moral turpitude); Alexander v. Exxon Co., 949 F. Supp. 1248 (M.D.N.C. 1996).  But see Portaluppi v. Shell Oil Co., 684 F. Supp. 900, 904 (E.D. Va. 1988) (simple possession of cocaine a CMT).



Ninth Circuit

Pagayon v. Holder, 642 F.3d 122, 2011 WL 2508239 (9th Cir. Jun. 24, 2011) (per curiam) (California conviction of possession of a controlled substance, under Health & Safety Code 11377(a), constituted a controlled substances conviction, triggering deportation under INA 237(a)(2)(B)(i), 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(B)(i), where respondents admission in removal proceedings he pleaded to guilty as charged established the drug involved as methamphetamine which was listed in federal drug schedules).