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BIA: Crime Involving Moral Turpitude and Cancellation to Fremoval for a Non-LPR: Interaction with the Petty Offense Exception

Matter of Cortez Canales, Interim Decision #3690, 25 I&N Dec. 301 (BIA 2010)

(1) An alien who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude for which a sentence of a year or longer may be imposed has been convicted of an offense "described under" section 237(a)(2) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2) (2006), and is therefore ineligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1)(C) (2006), regardless of the alien's eligibility for the petty offense exception under section 212(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II) (2006). Matter of Almanza, 24 I&N Dec. 771 (BIA 2009), clarified. Matter of Gonzalez-Zoquiapan, 24 I&N Dec. 549 (BIA 2008); Matter of Gonzalez-Silva, 24 I&N Dec. 218 (BIA 2007); and Matter of Garcia-Hernandez,

23 I&N Dec. 590 (BIA 2003), explained.

(2) In determining which offenses are "described under" sections 212(a)(2), 237(a)(2), and 237(a)(3) of the Act for purposes of section 240A(b)(1)(C) of the Act, only language specifically pertaining to the criminal offense, such as the offense itself and the sentence imposed or potentially imposed, should be considered.

(3) The respondent's misdemeanor conviction for welfare fraud in violation of section 10980(c)(2) of the California Welfare and Institutions Code rendered her ineligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(C) of the Act, because it was for a crime involving moral turpitude for which she could have been sentenced to a year in county jail and was therefore for an offense "described under" section 237(a)(2) of the Act.

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