- Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Immigration
- Date Filed: 07-23-2014
- Case #: 10-71236
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Fisher for the Court; Circuit Judges Gould and Christen
- Full Text Opinion
Luis Felipe Juarez Alvarado was born in Mexico in 1968 and was admitted into the United States prior to his first birthday. After a conviction in 2005 for possession of drug paraphernalia, Alvarado “was placed into removal proceedings…but an [Immigration Judge ("IJ")] granted his application for cancellation of removal in December 2007.” In April 2009, Alvarado was indicted on three counts of drug-related offenses by an Arizona grand jury. Alvarado agreed to plead guilty to "[a]ttempted possession of a dangerous dru[g].” The Department of Homeland Security charged Alvarado with removability based on his conviction for a controlled substance offense. Alvarado contested removability “and filed a motion to terminate the removal proceedings, contending that his conviction was not 'categorically a conviction relating to a substance covered by the CSA.'” Alvarado’s motion was denied by an IJ. The IJ acknowledged “that the controlled substance was not specified in the judgment, but conclud[ed] that the drug was identified as methamphetamine in ‘part of th[e] plea agreement.’” Alvarado appealed. The Ninth Circuit held that "[the Court] lack[ed] jurisdiction to reach [Alvarado’s] argument that the Arizona definition of attempt is categorically broader than the federal generic definition"; and, although the indictment did not establish Alvarado's conviction related to methamphetamine, "the government met its burden of establishing that Juarez Alvarado was convicted of a removable controlled substance offense by producing a factual basis for his guilty plea that described the substance as methamphetamine. . . that was [referenced and] incorporated into his written plea agreement." DENIED in part, DISMISSED in part.