In the Matter of Amicus Invitation No. 18-02-14
The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), on behalf of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, has filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) on whether an alien can be removed for committing an aggravated felony when the state statute the alien violated includes more than one kind of aggravated felony. The case involved New York’s larceny statute, which includes some subsections that are aggravated felonies because they are “theft offenses” and others that are aggravated felonies because they are offenses that involve “fraud or deceit.” Regardless, all subsections are aggravated felonies under the Immigration and Nationality Act, and thus a basis for removal.
While the underlying question and analysis are extremely technical, IRLI urged the BIA to find that when a statute includes more than one type of aggravated felony, the statute is still categorically an aggravated felony statute, and thus an alien is removable for a conviction under it. The approach IRLI advocated would ensure that aliens who committed aggravated felonies do not remain in the country on a technicality when it is obvious from the language of the statute of conviction that Congress wanted aliens removed for committing such offenses.