132 S. Ct. 476
PROCEDURAL HISTORY: Petitioner alien filed an action against respondent U.S. Attorney General, seeking judicial review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) which found that the alien was ineligible to seek relief under former 8 U.S.C.S. § 1182(c) (repealed). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied the alien's petition for review, and the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve a split among the courts of appeals.
FACTS: The U.S. Government initiated deportation proceedings against a resident alien who entered the United States in 1974, pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter in 1988, and pled guilty to a crime involving theft in 2005. The BIA applied the comparable-grounds approach in deciding whether the alien was allowed to seek relief from deportation under former § 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, codified at 8 U.S.C.S. § 1182(c) (repealed). The BIA found that the alien was not allowed to seek § 212(c) relief because he was being deported pursuant to 8 U.S.C.S. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) for committing an aggravated felony involving a crime of violence, and the "crime of violence" deportation ground was not comparable to any ground for exclusion, including the one for crimes involving moral turpitude. The Supreme Court found that use of the comparative-grounds approach was arbitrary and capricious and violated the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C.S. § 706(2)(A). The BIA was required to use an approach that was tied to the purposes of the immigration laws or the appropriate operation of the immigration system, and the comparable-grounds approach had no connection to those factors.
CONCLUSION: The Court reversed the circuit court's decision and remanded the case. Unanimous decision.
Interested in learning how to get the top grades in your law school classes? Want to learn how to study smarter than your competition? Interested in transferring to a high ranked school?