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Espino-Castillo v. Holder

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

October 29, 2014

FELIPE ESPINO-CASTILLO, Petitioner,
v.
ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., Attorney General, Respondent

Argued and Submitted September 11, 2014, San Francisco, California

On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Agency No. A205-414-449.

SUMMARY[1]

Immigration

The panel denied Felipe Espino-Castillo's petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals' decision finding that his state law forgery conviction qualified as a crime involving moral turpitude.

The panel held that petitioner's conviction under Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-2002 constituted a categorical crime involving moral turpitude because the statute criminalizes conduct that constitutes fraud. The panel held that the exception in Beltran-Tirado v. INS, 213 F.3d 1179 (9th Cir. 2000), to the clearly established rule that a fraud conviction is a CIMT did not apply to this offense, where the underlying conduct involved the use of false information to obtain employment.

Hugo F. Larios (argued), Hugo F. Larios Law, PLLC, Tempe, Arizona, for Petitioner.

Stuart F. Delery, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, Blair T. O'Connor, Assistant Director, Office of Immigration Litigation, Edward C. Durant and Jonathan Robbins (argued), United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. for Respondent.

Before: J. Clifford Wallace, Mary M. Schroeder, and William A. Fletcher, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 862

SCHROEDER, Circuit Judge.

In this petition for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals' (" BIA" ) order of removal, the novel question is whether Congress has exempted state fraud convictions from characterization as crimes involving moral turpitude, when the underlying conduct involved fraud in an application for employment. We hold Congress has not.

Petitioner relies on our decision in Beltran-Tirado v. INS, 213 F.3d 1179 (9th Cir. 2000), where we considered an amendment to the social security laws that granted immunity from prosecution for longstanding resident aliens who used a false social security number to obtain employment. We held the amendment expressed congressional intent that such conduct did not establish moral turpitude for immigration purposes. We have ...


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