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Immigration – removal — aggravated felonies

U.S. Supreme Court


Immigration – removal — aggravated felonies

Convictions under 26 U. S. C. 7206(1) and (2) in which the Government’s revenue loss exceeds $10,000 qualify as aggravated felonies pursuant to Clause (i)

The Kawashimas’ argument that they cannot be deported for the commission of an “aggravated felony” because crimes under §§7206(1) and (2) do not involve the fraud or deceit required by Clause (i) is rejected. This Court looks to the statute defining the crime of conviction, rather than the specific facts underlying the crime, see Gonzales v. Duenas-Alvarez, 549 U. S. 183, to determine whether the Kawashimas’ offenses involve fraud or deceit within the meaning of Clause (i). Section 7206(1) provides that any person who “willfully makes and subscribes any return . . . which contains or is verified by a written declaration that it is made under the penalties of perjury, and which he does not believe to be true and correct as to every material matter,” shall be guilty of a felony. Although the words “fraud” and “deceit” are absent from §7206(1) and are not themselves formal elements of the crime, it does not follow that Mr. Kawashima’s offense falls outside Clause (i). Clause (i) is not limited to offenses that include fraud or deceit as formal elements. Rather, it refers more broadly to offenses involving fraud or deceit – meaning offenses with elements that necessarily entail fraudulent or deceitful conduct. Mr. Kawashima’s conviction under §7206(1) involved deceitful conduct in that he knowingly and willfully submitted a tax return that was false as to a material matter. Mrs. Kawashima was convicted of violating §7206(2), which declares that any person who “[w]illfully aids or assists in . . . the preparation or presentation . . . of a return . . . which is fraudulent or is false as to any material matter” has committed a felony. She committed a felony involving deceit by knowingly and willfully assisting her husband’s filing of a materially false tax return. Pp. 3?6.

615 F. 3d 1043, affirmed.

10-577 Kawashima v. Holder

Thomas, J.; Ginsburg, J., dissenting.

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