In Ramirez-Contreras v. Sessions, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that California’s Vehicle code section 2800.2 is not categorically a crime of moral turpitude, and thus, Petitioner is not statutorily ineligible for cancellation of removal. Mr. Ramirez-Contreras’ application for EOIR 42B Cancellation of Removal for Nonpermanent Residents had been denied by the Immigration Judge on the basis that his conviction for California Vehicle Code 2800.2 rendered him ineligible.
Both the Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) previously held that section 2800.2 was a crime involving moral turpitude based on an earlier BIA decision Matter of Ruiz-Lopez, 25 I&N Dec. 551 (BIA 2011) which involved a conviction under a Washington Statute that also dealt with fleeing from a police officer. Although the California and Washington statutes both deal with fleeing from a police officer, the California statute differs because of subsection (b) which provides that an individual can be convicted for eluding police while committing three traffic violations that cannot be characterized as ‘vile or depraved.’ Thus, the Court held that California Vehicle Code 2800.2 “is not a crime involving moral turpitude because the conduct criminalized does not necessarily create the risk of harm that characterizes a crime of moral turpitude.”
Since the Court granted Mr. Ramirez-Contreras’ Petition for Review, he will now have an opportunity to continue with his application for Cancellation of Removal.
Please see full result here: Ramirez-Contreras v. Sessions
We would like to offer our congratulations to Angelica Navarro Sigala on her recent victory!