In the Matter of Amicus Invitation No. 17-01-05
IRLI, on behalf of its client the Federation for American Immigration Reform, submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the Board of Immigration Appeals on whether the crime of misprision of a felony constituted a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). Additionally, the Board asked whether precedent stating that misprision of a felony was a CIMT could be applied retroactively.
Misprision of a felony occurs when an individual knows about the commission of a felony and takes steps to affirmatively conceal the felony from the authorities. In its brief, IRLI argued that misprision of a felony fulfilled the elements of a CIMT which require: (1) reprehensible conduct and (2) a culpable mental state. By concealing criminal activity, misprision of a felony contravenes the obligation a person has to keep their community safe by reporting serious criminal activity. An individual convicted of misprision of a felony knowingly takes steps to conceal the underlying crime and continues to put society at risk for future criminal acts. Additionally, the Attorney General found in 1968 that misprision of a felony constituted a CIMT by overturning a prior BIA ruling. Therefore, IRLI concluded that any misprision of a felony activity that occurred after 1968 is a CIMT.