§ 3.1 I. Introduction
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Admission or conviction of one or more crimes of moral turpitude can result in a finding of inadmissibility or deportability. The grounds of inadmissibility based on a crime of moral turpitude, and the exceptions, are discussed in Chapter 4, infra. The grounds for deportation for one or more convictions of a crime of moral turpitude are discussed in Chapter 5, infra. The remaining immigration consequences flowing from commission or conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude are discussed in this chapter, including discussions on eligibility for discretionary relief. Although this chapter is focused on the direct immigration consequences of a crime of moral turpitude conviction, commission of a CMT may have non-immigration consequences as well.
While the consequence of deportation or inadmissibility resulting from a conviction for a crime of moral turpitude is serious, this class of conviction is not nearly as dangerous as an aggravated felony conviction, for two reasons: (1) the conviction does not disqualify the noncitizen from eligibility for certain forms of discretionary immigration relief, and (2) the conviction does not require mandatory detention, without bond, during removal proceedings. A crime that involves moral turpitude may often also trigger another removal ground, such as an aggravated felony or a controlled substance offense, and will then carry the consequences of all categories into which it falls. Even if a particular criminal offense is not charged in a Notice to Appear, the offense may still be used by the INS as a basis to show a noncitizen is ineligible for relief. Unless otherwise indicated, the remainder of this chapter will deal with immigration consequences of crimes involving moral turpitude that are not also aggravated felonies.
The consequences of conviction for multiple crimes of moral turpitude largely mirror those for a single CMT conviction, with the notable exception of the restrictions of federal court judicial review. See § 3.18, infra.
Where good moral character or admissibility are required, however, a CMT conviction will preclude relief unless a waiver is obtained or the offense comes within the Petty Offense, Youthful Offender, or Political Offense Exceptions.
The category of “crime of moral turpitude” does not generally bar discretionary forms of relief. In fact, many forms of relief were specifically created for the purpose of waiving removability on the basis of one or more crimes of moral turpitude. However, there are exceptions.
For example, cancellation of removal for non-lawful permanent residents is not available to a person who is removable for a CMT. Commission of a CMT can also trigger the LPR-cancellation stop-time rule. Relief under INA § 212(c) is barred to a noncitizen who was convicted, or entered a plea of guilty to a CMT offense between April 24, 1996 and April 1, 1997 if s/he is deportable for multiple crimes of moral turpitude, at least two of which were punishable by at least one year imprisonment.
A crime of moral turpitude conviction may also disqualify a noncitizen from eligibility under the one felony or two or three misdemeanor disqualification rules for Family Unity, Legalization Programs, or Temporary Protected Status. A crime of moral turpitude should not bar asylum or withholding of removal unless it is determined to be a particularly serious crime. A CMT conviction will not bar relief under the Convention Against Torture.
 For example, the noncitizen may be barred from obtaining a professional license, lose public office, or be impeached as a witness. Removal, in general, causes loss of social security benefits under SSA Title II retirement funds earned over the working lifetime. Social Security Act § 202(n)(1).
 For example, once a noncitizen has been deported after suffering an aggravated felony conviction, s/he is permanently inadmissible, and ineligible to return to the United States. Although a waiver of this ground of inadmissibility is available in the Attorney General’s discretion, it is not often granted. INA § § 212(a)(9)(a)(ii), (ground of inadmissibility), (iii) (waiver).
 See, e.g., INA § § 208(c)(B)(i) (asylum), 212(h) (waiver of inadmissibility), 240A(3) (cancellation of removal).
 See, e.g., INA § 212(h), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(h), INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(ii), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(ii).
 See § 3.5, infra.
 See § 3.6, infra.
 INA § 212(c), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(c) (1995).
 See § 3.43, infra.
 See § 3.13, infra
 See § § 3.19, et seq., infra.
 See § 3.36, infra.
 See § 3.30, infra.
 See § 3.8, infra.
RELIEF " IMMIGRANT LEGAL RESOURCE CENTER " NEW IMMIGRATION RELIEF TOOLKIT
The ILRC has expanded and updated the free Relief Toolkit for Defenders. The purpose of the Toolkit is to help defenders quickly identify possible immigration applications or relief for which the client might be eligible. The toolkit is one of the Notes from the California Chart and Notes. http://www.ilrc.org/files/documents/17._relief_toolkit_jan_2014_final_0.pdf Thanks to Kathy Brady.
RELIEF " ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS " INA 245(i) GRANDFATHERING LIMITS
Matter of Legaspi, 25 I. & N. Dec. 328 (BIA 2010) (noncitizen is not independently grandfathered for purposes of adjustment of status under INA 245(i), simply by virtue of marriage to another noncitizen who is grandfathered under section 245(i) as the result of having been a derivative beneficiary of a visa petition).
NATURE OF CONVICTION " CATEGORICAL ANALYSIS " MINIMUM CONDUCT " BURDEN
Sauceda v. Lynch, ___ F.3d ___ (1st Cir. Apr. 22, 2016) (a non-citizen can qualify for cancellation of removal without having to prove affirmatively that a conviction wasn't for a disqualifying conviction: "We hold that since all the Shepard documents have been produced and the modified categorical approach using such documents cannot identify the prong of the divisible Maine statute under which Peralta Sauceda was convicted, the unrebutted Moncrieffe presumption applies, and, as a matter of law, Peralta Sauceda was not convicted of a "crime of domestic violence."). NOTE: This case addresses the issue of who wins a divisible statute argument when the record of conviction is unclear which part of the statute the noncitizen was convicted under. The Ninth Circuit went back and forth on this issue for several years. See Sandoval-Lua v. Gonzales, 499 F.3d 1121, 1130-31 (9th Cir. 2007); Young v. Holder, 697 F.3d 976, 988"90 (9th Cir.2012) (en banc). Ultimately, however, the Ninth Circuit left this question open following Moncrieffe. See Almanza Arenas v. Lynch, 815 F.3d 469 (9th Cir. 2016). This appears to be the first Circuit Court decision to definitively apply Moncrieffe to find that the categorical (and modified categorical) analysis is a question of law, and does not depend upon whether the Government or the Respondent bears the burden of proof.
JUDICIAL REVIEW - PLAIN ERROR TEST - SUBSTANTIAL RIGHTS ARE AFFECTED WHERE THERE IS A REASONABLE PROBABILITY THAT THE OUTCOME WOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT ABSENT THE ERROR
United States v. Gonzalez-Castillo, 562 F.3d 80 (1st Cir. Apr. 9, 2009) (to warrant reversal under the "plain error" test, the error must affect the defendant's substantial rights, i.e., there must exist "a reasonable probability that, but for the error, the district court would have imposed a different, more favorable sentence."); citing United States v. Perazza-Mercado, 553 F.3d 65, 78 (1st Cir. 2009) (quoting United States v. Gilman, 478 F.3d 440, 447 (1st Cir.2007)).
JUDICIAL REVIEW - QUESTIONS OF FACT
Vasquez-Martinez v. Holder, 564 F.3d 712 (5th Cir. Apr. 2, 2009) (whether noncitizen was convicted of an offense that could be considered an aggravated felony, where elements of statute described an aggravated felony but the judgment lacked essential elements of the offense, was a question of fact over which the court lacked jurisdiction).
RELIEF - BURDEN OF PROOF - CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL
Sanchez v. Holder, 614 F.3d 760 (8th Cir. Aug. 2, 2010) (no statutory support for petitioner's argument that the burden of proof rested on the government in this case to prove his conviction of an aggravated felony to disqualify him from eligibility for cancellation of removal). Note, this case did not cite or discuss Sandoval-Lua v. Gonzales, 499 F.3d 1121 (9th Cir. 2007).
RELIEF - DUE PROCESS
Sanchez-Velasco v. Holder, 593 F.3d 733 (8th Cir. Jan. 20, 2010) (noncitizens have no right to due process in purely discretionary remedy of cancellation of removal, therefore noncitizen could not claim IJ violated due process by excluding witnesses).
RELIEF " BURDEN OF PROOF " INCONCLUSIVE RECORD OF CONVICTION
Almanza-Arenas v. Holder, ___ F.3d ___, ___ (9th Cir. Nov. 10, 2014) (Almanza-Arenass record of conviction did not conclusively show whether or not he was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. The BIA not only engaged in the modified categorical approach impermissibly, but also determined that, where the record of conviction was inconclusive, the petitioner was ineligible for cancellation of removal. This was in error. In Moncrieffe, the Supreme Court held that [b]ecause we examine what the state conviction necessarily involved, not the facts underlying the case, we must presume that the conviction rested upon nothing more than the least of the acts criminalized, and then determine whether even those acts are encompassed by the generic federal offense. 133 S.Ct. at 1684 (internal quotations omitted). Because the record is inconclusive as to whether Almanza-Arenas was convicted for intending to permanently or temporarily take a vehicle we must presume that he was convicted for joyriding, which is not a crime of moral turpitude.), finding Young v. Holder, 697 F.3d 976 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc) (a petitioner cannot fulfill his burden to demonstrate eligibility for cancellation by establishing an inconclusive record), was abrogated in part by Moncrieffe v. Holder, 133 S. Ct. 1678 (2013) (an alien convicted under a state statute whose elements are not necessarily the same as the generic federal disqualifying offense remains eligible for cancellation).
RELIEF - BURDEN OF PROOF
Esquivel-Garcia v. Holder, 593 F.3d 1025 (9th Cir. Jan. 28, 2010) (record of conviction that is inconclusive as to the exact nature of the controlled substance involved is sufficient to establish eligibility for cancellation of removal, placing on the government the burden of going forward to prove that the controlled substance the petitioner possessed was heroin or some other controlled substance listed under INA 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(II)); following Sandoval-Lua v. Gonzales, 499 F.3d 1121, 1129-30 (9th Cir.2007) (person seeking "to prove eligibility for cancellation of removal can meet his or her initial burden by pointing to an inconclusive record of conviction."); S-Yong v. Holder, 578 F.3d 1169, 1174, 1176 (9th Cir.2009).
RELIEF - VISA WAIVER PROGRAM COUNTRIES
Countries added to Visa Waiver Program (wherein admittees waive rights to immigration hearings and relief), as of November 17, 2008, include: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Republic of Korea, and the Slovak Republic. Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 222, Monday, Nov. 17, 2008.