Crimes of Moral Turpitude


§ 10.22 1. Determination of Whether a Pardon Exists

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The name of the document may not always determine whether the DHS will regard it as a pardon.  A document called an “amnesty” may be accepted by the DHS as equivalent to a pardon.[252]  Commutations of sentence or release on parole are not regarded as “pardons.”[253]  An order restoring civil rights may be considered equivalent to a pardon, for immigration purposes, if it satisfies all the requirements of a pardon: a grant by the governor unconditionally removing all disabilities.[254]  After a 1947 amendment of Wisconsin law, a Wisconsin restoration of civil rights is no longer regarded as equivalent to a full and unconditional pardon for immigration purposes.[255]  Additionally, the courts may require an official, certified copy of the pardon to give it effect.[256]

The immigration courts need not grant a stay of deportation to enable the noncitizen to apply for a pardon.  The decision whether to issue a stay is a discretionary one.[257]

[252] Marino v. INS, 537 F.2d 686 (2d Cir. 1976); Matter of Adamo, 10 I. & N. Dec. 593 (BIA 1964); Matter of B, 7 I. & N. Dec. 166 (BIA 1956).

[253] Brazier v. Commissioner, 5 F.2d 162 (1924).

[254] Matter of S, 5 I. & N. Dec. 10 (INS Central Office 1952, BIA 1953) (Washington);  Matter of G, 4 I. & N. Dec. 73 (BIA 1950) (Wisconsin).  Cf. Matter of O, 3 I. & N. Dec. 209 (BIA 1948, AG 1950) (Nebraska and Illinois).

[255] Matter of R, 8 I. & N. Dec. 677 (BIA 1960).

[256] Ali v. U.S. Attorney General, 443 F.3d 804 (7th Cir. Mar. 22, 2006) (per curiam) (uncertified photocopy of purported pardon was "not sufficiently reliable to meet [] heavy evidentiary burden to reopen proceedings." even though it bore a signature and a seal, because under 8 C.F.R. § 287.6, "an official record or entry . . . when admissible for any purpose, shall be evidenced by an official publication thereof, or by a copy attested by the official having legal custody of the record or by an authorized deputy;" although § 287.6 is not the "exclusive" method of authentication, see Khan v. INS, 237 F.3d 1143, 1144 (9th Cir. 2001) (per curiam), noncitizen offered no compelling reason why a properly certified copy of the pardon was not submitted).

[257] Vermiglio v. Butterfield, 223 F.2d 804 (6th Cir. 1955); Houvardas v. Wixon, 169 F.2d 980 (9th Cir. 1949).