Macias-Carreon v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 05-30-2013
  • Case #: 10-70380
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Murguia for the Court; Judges Noonan and Wardlaw
  • Full Text Opinion

Possession of marijuana in violation of Cal. Health & Safety Code § 11359 is categorically a crime "relating to a controlled substance" for immigration purposes.

Ramon Macias-Carreon (“Macias-Carreon”) violated California Health & Safety Code § 11359 by possessing marijuana, which is a controlled substance under federal law. Due to Macias-Carreon being an alien present in the United States without being admitted or paroled and his conviction for possession of marijuana for sale, an immigration judge found him to be removable. Macias-Carreon appealed his removal by arguing the divisibility of § 11359, which would not allow the government to meet its burden of proving Macias-Carreon violated possessing a controlled substance. The Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) denied Macias-Carreon his motion to remand. The BIA determined § 11359 relates to controlled substances and Macias-Carreon’s argument is facially implausible because § 11359 is applied to controlled substances so someone could not be convicted of violating § 11359 without possessing marijuana for purposes of sale. The Ninth Circuit held Macias-Carreon had failed to meet his burden of proving a "realistic probability" that California would apply § 11359 to conduct not related to a controlled substance. Therefore, his conviction was a categorical crime relating to a controlled substance under the Immigration and Nationality Act. PETITION DENIED.

Advanced Search