Latter-Singh v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 02-17-2012
  • Case #: 08-71277
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Bybee for the Court; Circuit Judge Berzon and Senior District Judge Whelan
  • Full Text Opinion

California Penal Code § 422 is “categorically a crime of moral turpitude” and aliens convicted of such a crime are therefore subject to removal pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I).

Lakhwinder Latter-Singh, a citizen of India who had previously been granted asylum but never received permanent legal resident status, was convicted of California Penal Code § 422 (“§ 422”) for “making threats with intent to terrorize.” After Singh’s conviction, the Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings based upon his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) (“§ 1182”). The immigration judge declined to grant Singh’s petition for a new grant of asylum and ordered Singh’s removal to India. Singh appealed, where the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) affirmed the removal order after it found that § 422 was “categorically” a crime involving moral turpitude. The Ninth Circuit found that § 422 requires the intent to cause serious bodily injury and, if carried out, would constitute a crime of moral turpitude. Additionally, the Court reasoned that a § 422 crime requires a specific malicious mens rea, because it is aimed at causing another to feel threatened. Therefore, the Court affirmed the BIA’s decision that § 422 is “categorically a crime of moral turpitude” under § 1182. PETITION DISMISSED IN PART, DENIED IN PART.

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