Submitted February 6, 2017 [*] Pasadena, California
Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration
Appeals Agency No. A077-301-159.
Angelica Navarro Sigala and John R. Alcorn, Law Offices of
John R. Alcorn, Irvine, California, for Petitioner-Appellant.
L. Farrell, Attorney; Greg D. Mack, Senior Litigation
Counsel; Joyce R. Branda, Office of Immigration Litigation,
Civil Division, United States Department of Justice,
Washington, D.C.; for Respondent-Appellee.
Before: Mary M. Schroeder, Andre M. Davis, [**] and Mary H.
Murguia, Circuit Judges.
panel granted Ramirez-Contreras's petition for review of
the Board of Immigration Appeals' decision concluding
that his conviction for fleeing from a police officer under
California Vehicle Code § 2800.2 is categorically a
crime involving moral turpitude that rendered him statutorily
ineligible for cancellation of removal.
holding that Ramirez-Contreras's conviction is not a
crime of moral turpitude, the panel accorded minimal
deference to the BIA's decision due to flaws in its
the categorical approach, the panel viewed the least of the
acts criminalized under California Vehicle Code §
2800.2, and concluded that an individual can be convicted
under subsection (b) for eluding police while committing
three traffic violations that cannot be characterized as
"vile or depraved." Therefore, the panel held that
California Vehicle Code § 2800.2 is not a crime of moral
turpitude because the conduct criminalized does not
necessarily create the risk of harm that characterizes a
crime of moral turpitude.
panel also held that the modified categorical approach does
not apply because the elements of California Vehicle Code
§ 2800.2 are clearly indivisible.
SCHROEDER, Circuit Judge:
once again with the question of whether a crime of conviction
supporting an order of removal was a crime of moral
turpitude. Such a conviction renders noncitizens statutorily
ineligible for cancellation of removal. 8 U.S.C. §
1229b(b)(1)(C). In this case, Petitioner Moises
Ramirez-Contreras was convicted under California law for
fleeing from a police officer. The California statute under
which he was convicted is similar to many other statutes in
that it criminalizes willful flight while driving in a wanton
or reckless manner. It is unusual, however, in that it
defines such conduct as including driving while violating
traffic laws, some of which would not rise to a level of
seriousness to qualify as a crime of moral turpitude. Because
the test is whether all of the conduct covered by the statute
was turpetudinous, we grant the petition.
California statute is in two parts, with part (a) providing
the elements of the crime and part (b) defining the
"willful or ...