Murillo-Prado v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 11-20-2013
  • Case #: 09-72034
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam; Circuit Judges Jerome Farris, Susan H. Black and Sandra S. Ikuta
  • Full Text Opinion

When determining eligibility for cancellation of removal, a conviction for racketeering under Arizona law constitutes an aggravated felony as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(J).

Jose Luis Murillo-Prado ("Murillo-Prado"), a native of Mexico, was admitted as a conditional lawful permanent United States resident in 1989. The conditions were removed in 1991. In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security issued Murillo-Prado a Notice to Appear ("NTA"). At issue in this case was allegation six of the NTA, which charged Murillo-Prado with removability as an alien who was convicted of an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii). The charge was based on Murillo-Prado's prior conviction of racketeering under Arizona law. Murillo-Prado denied the claims at a master calendar hearing. At another hearing before an Immigration Judge ("IJ"), the IJ sustained the racketeering charge and ordered removal. The IJ explained that documentation of Murillo-Prado's conviction of illegally conducting an enterprise and a three-year sentence established that he was an aggravated felon and ineligible for cancellation of removal. Murillo-Prado appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA"), which found no reversible error and that Murillo-Prado was clearly an aggravated felon under federal law. Murillo-Prado petitioned for review of the BIA decision to decide if the racketeering conviction constituted an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(J). The Ninth Circuit applied the modified categorical approach to the divisible Arizona definition of racketeering. The panel found that the Arizona definition categorically fit within the generic federal definition of criminal racketeering. The panel then concluded that the indictment, plea agreement and sentencing order all provided clear and convincing evidence that Murillo-Prado was convicted of a racketeering aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(J). The panel held that Murillo-Prado was thus ineligible for cancellation of removal and that the panel lacked jurisdiction to review petition. PETITION DISMISSED.

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