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Immigration — cancellation of removal

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//December 12, 2011//

Immigration — cancellation of removal

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//December 12, 2011//

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United States Supreme Court

Civil

Immigration — cancellation of removal

The BIA’s policy for applying sec. 212(c) in deportation cases is “arbitrary and capricious” under the Administrative Procedure Act.

By hinging a deportable alien’s eligibility for discretionary relief on the chance correspondence between statutory categories—a matter irrelevant to the alien’s fitness to reside in this country—the BIA has failed to exercise its discretion in a reasoned manner. Pp. 9–10. (b) Even if the BIA has legitimate reasons for limiting §212(c)’s scope in deportation cases, it must do so in some rational way. In other words, the BIA must use an approach that is tied to the purposes of the immigration laws or the appropriate operation of the immigration system. The comparable-grounds rule has no connection to these factors. Instead, it makes §212(c) eligibility turn on an irrelevant comparison between statutory provisions. Whether the set of offenses in a particular deportation ground lines up with the set in an exclusion ground has nothing to do with whether a deportable alien whose prior conviction falls within both grounds merits the ability to stay in this country. Here, Judulang was found ineligible for §212(c)relief because the “crime of violence” deportation ground includes a few offenses—simple assault, minor burglary, and unauthorized use of a vehicle—not found in the similar moral turpitude exclusion ground. But the inclusion of simple assaults and minor burglaries in the deportation ground is irrelevant to the merits of Judulang’s case.

249 Fed.Appx. 499, Reversed and Remanded.

10-694 Judulang v. Holder

Kagan, J.

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