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What is a ‘controlled substance’ for removal purposes

Supreme Court Holds That Only Substances Defined as “Controlled” Under §802 Trigger Removal

The Supreme Court reversed the Eighth Circuit, finding that INA §237(a)(2)(B)(i) triggers removal only when the government can prove a connection between an element of an immigrant’s drug conviction and a “controlled substance” as defined in 21 USC §802.

What are Removable Offenses?

An alien is removable under section 237(a)(1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(A) (2006), as one who was inadmissible at the time of entry or adjustment of status pursuant to section 212(a)(2)(C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(C)(2006), where an appropriate immigration official knows or has reason to believe that the alien is a trafficker in controlled substances at the time of admission to the United States. Matter of Rocha, 20 I&N Dec. 944 (BIA 1995),

Exempts from removability those convicted of only a “single offense”

The “personal use exception” of 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1227(a)(2)(B)(i), which exempts from removability those convicted of only a “single offense involving possession for one’s own use of 30 grams or less of marijuana,” does not apply to aliens who have more than one drug conviction. Petitioner was ineligible where his conviction for possession of concentrated cannabis was not his only controlled substance offense. Rodriguez v. Holder – filed August 23, 2010

Violation of a law relating to a controlled substance

The offense of delivery of a simulated controlled substance in violation of Texas law is not an aggravated felony, as defined by section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(B) (2006), but it is a violation of a law relating to a controlled substance under former section 241(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(B)(i) (1994).

Denial of petitions and removal are issued for drug conviction

Removal qualifications are clarified under new standards of of petitions. CA9 denied petition, finding conviction under Cal. Health & Safety Code § 11379(a), qualifies for removal, so long as substance involved is determined to have been controlled substance under the modified categorical approach

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