BIA: Single Act of Soliciting Prostitution is not removable offense under INA 212(a)(2)(D)(ii)


The BIA addressed convictions for solicitating a prostitute in Matter of GONZALEZ-ZOQUIAPAN , 24 I&N Dec. 549 (BIA 2008) and found that:

  1. A single act of soliciting prostitution on one's own behalf does not fall within section 212(a)(2)(D)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(D)(ii) (2006), which provides for the inadmissibility of an alien who "procured . . . prostitutes or persons for the purpose of prostitution."
  2. The respondent's conviction for disorderly conduct relating to prostitution in violation of section 647(b) of the California Penal Code does not render him inadmissible under section 212(a)(2)(D)(ii) of the Act.

This BIA reached a positive conclusion by taking a common sense, plain english reading of the statute. Part of their analysis and full decision below:

"The language of section 212(a)(2)(D)(ii), on its face, relates only to persons who "procure" others for the purpose of prostitution or who receive the proceeds of prostitution. The dictionary meaning of the word "procure" is generally to obtain or acquire, but as applied to prostitution, it has a specific meaning, i.e., "[t]o obtain [a prostitute] for another." Webster's II New College Dictionary 882 (2001); see also Matter of R-M-, 7 I&N Dec. 392 (BIA 1957) (finding the respondent inadmissible under the predecessor statute to section 212(a)(2)(D)(ii) for soliciting men for the purpose of sexual intercourse with prostitutes). We agree with the respondent that under the most reasonable interpretation of the statute, the term "procure" does not extend to an act of solicitation of a prostitute on one's own behalf. If Congress had intended to include "solicitation" of prostitution as a ground of inadmissibility, it could easily have employed that term, as it has done in other provisions of the Act. See, e.g., sections 212(a)(3)(B)(iv)(IV), (V) of the Act."

Ricky Malik, Esq.