Castrijon-Garcia v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 01-09-2013
  • Case #: 09-73756
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Reinhardt for the Court; Circuit Judges Clifton and N.R. Smith.
  • Full Text Opinion

The court held that simple kidnapping does not involve moral turpitude because under CPC §207(a) it “does not require an intent to injure, actual injury, or a special class of victims.”

Javier Castrijon-Garcia petitioned for review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) holding him ineligible for cancellation of removal. Castrijon-Garcia is a citizen of Mexico who entered the United States in 1989 without inspection and has resided continuously since with the exception of two short trips back to Mexico. In 1992 Castrijon-Garcia pled guilty to attempted simple kidnapping. In 2007 the Department of Homeland Security charged him with removeability under 8 U.S.C. §1182(a)(6)(A)(i). Castrijon-Garcia subsequently applied for cancellation of removal. The immigration judge found Castrijon-Garcia ineligible for cancellation because “attempted simple kidnapping is a categorical crime of moral turpitude.” The BIA affirmed this in an unpublished decision holding that “simple kidnapping is a crime of moral turpitude because it ‘involves readiness to do evil and is an offense that grievously offends the moral code of mankind in its inherent nature.’” The court granted no deference to the unpublished BIA decision and used de novo review to apply the categorical and modified approaches. The court held that simple kidnapping does not involve moral turpitude because under CPC §207(a) it “does not require an intent to injure, actual injury, or a special class of victims.” The court also found that California has applied simple kidnapping to acts that are not morally turpitudinous. The court remanded the case to the BIA to apply the modified categorical approach. PETITION GRANTED and REMANDED.

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