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BIA on Application of the Modified Categorical Approach to Conviction Assessment

Another bad decision issued by the Board of Immigration Appeals, February 19, 2010 — more often in recent months the Department of Homeland Security is trying (successfully sometimes) to go behind a state court’s conviction records to sustain removability charges against an individual in immigration proceedings. Obviously the line between federal and state is becoming very blurred, and it seems as though regardless of the conviction issued by a state court, federal court judges have free will to re-define the actual meaning of a conviction!! It is difficult enough when the immigration laws treat certain misdemeanor convictions as felonies, but the added burden of having to argue against the admission of facts, evidence, police reports, etc., is ridiculous!! Why not just combine state court and immigration court proceedings, and make life that much easier for the government?! This is absurd and immigration judges should not have discretion to re-try a case which has already been decided in a state court!!