Rohit v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 02-29-2012
  • Case #: 10-70091
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Wallace for the Court; Circuit Judge M. Smith and Senior District Judge Rakoff
  • Full Text Opinion

For purposes of determining whether an alien is deportable under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(ii), disorderly conduct involving prostitution under § 647(b) of the California Penal Code is a crime involving moral turpitude.

Avinesh Anand Rohit was convicted for disorderly conduct involving solicitation of prostitution under California Penal Code § 647(b) and attempting to dissuade a witness or victim under California Penal Code § 136.1(c). In Rohit’s removal proceedings, the Immigration Judge (IJ) found Rohit removable on the basis that these crimes constitute crimes involving moral turpitude. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed the IJ’s decision, and held that Rohit was removable for committing two crimes involving moral turpitude pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(ii). On appeal, Rohit argued that the BIA erred in concluding that disorderly conduct involving prostitution is a crime involving moral turpitude. Because the BIA did not rely on a published opinion in making its decision, the Ninth Circuit applied Skidmore deference on review. In affirming the BIA’s decision, the Court compared the crime of disorderly conduct involving solicitation of prostitution to the crime of engaging in an act of prostitution, a crime that already has been determined to be morally turpitudinous. The Court reasoned: “soliciting an act of prostitution is not significantly less ‘base, vile, and depraved’ than engaging in an act of prostitution.” Thus, because § 347(b) bans only action involving moral turpitude, it is a “categorical match” with 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(ii). PETITION FOR REVIEW DENIED.

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