Crimes of Moral Turpitude


Chapter 5. Grounds of Deportation


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Matter of Islam, 25 I&N Dec. 637, 643 (BIA 2011) (very restrictive interpretation of single scheme exception for multiple moral turpitude conviction ground of deportability, calling into question the authority of older cases with a more generous interpretation: the BIA cited to Chevron and Brand X and concluded: "We respectfully conclude that our analysis there is controlling and should now be uniformly applied in all circuits throughout the country."). Note: There is a good argument, however, to the contrary. E.g., Gonzalez-Sandoval v. U.S. INS, 910 F.2d 614 (9th Cir. 1990) (single scheme found where a noncitizen committed two robberies of the same bank within two days of each other, pursuant to a plan the noncitizen devised to acquire money); Wood v. Hoy, 266 F.2d 825 (9th Cir. 1959). The BIA (and other circuits) definition is more restrictive and might receive deference. However, theres nothing in the dictionary definition of scheme that would restrict it to the same criminal incident or the same criminal episode, and Congress could have used those simple terms instead, so the plain ordinary meaning of scheme is something more like a plan than episode, incident or even course of conduct. It would assist the argument if the factual basis for the plea stated that the two counts were planned at the same time and executed in accordance with that plan as part of a single scheme of criminal misconduct. Thanks to Jonathan Moore.