Espino-Castillo v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 10-29-2014
  • Case #: 13-70756
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Schroeder for the Court; Circuit Judges Wallace and Fletcher
  • Full Text Opinion

The crime of fraud is considered a crime involving moral turpitude for the purposes of determining if a person is eligible for cancellation of deportation.

Felipe Espino-Castillo entered the United States from Mexico in 1992 without permission. He has remained living in the United States continuously for over twenty years. In 2012, Espino-Castillo was found guilty of two counts of forgery. Following his conviction, proceedings were held to immediately deport Espino-Castillo back to Mexico and Espino-Castillo argued he was eligible for cancellation. The Immigration Judge found that he was not eligible for cancellation of deportation because under 8 U.S.C. § 11182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) he had committed a crime of moral turpitude. The Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed the Immigration Judge’s decision. Espino-Castillo on appeal, relied on the ruling in Beltran-Tirado v. INS, where the Ninth Circuit decided that falsely using a social security card to obtain employment was not a bar from cancellation, and that Espino-Castillo’s conviction of forgery should be treated the same. The Ninth Circuit refused to extend the reasoning in Beltran-Tirado beyond its narrow scope of social security cards to obtain employment. The panel found that the crime of forgery, or any crime that has “fraud as an element” is a crime involving moral turpitude. Under 8 U.S.C. § 11182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) Espino-Castillo was removable, despite having previously remained in the United States for over two decades. DENIED.

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