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News Posted on May 23, 2013

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Sides with Immigration Law Clinic in Deportation Case

A U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit panel ruled in favor of a lawful permanent resident in an important case in which the UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic worked with other leading immigration law centers to serve as amici.

The case, Olivas-Motta v. Holder, concerns a legal permanent resident who was charged with removal based on his alleged conviction of two crimes involving moral turpitude.  The man conceded that one conviction, a minor drug offense, was a crime of moral turpitude, but contends that the other, for endangerment, was not.  The Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals concluded that the second conviction was a crime of moral turpitude using information in police reports as allowable under the rule for moral turpitude determinations set forth by the U.S. Attorney General in Matter of Silva-Trevino.

The Immigration Law Clinic was part of a group of amici including the Immigrant Defense Project, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law who submitted a brief asserting that Silva-Trevino was wrongly decided and that Immigration Judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals should be confined to the record of conviction in determining crimes of moral turpitude. On May 17, a Ninth Circuit panel agreed and joined the Third, Fourth, and Eleventh Circuits in holding that Silva-Trevino was wrongly decided.