Crime of Violence Watch

Lopez-Cardona v. Holder (9th Cir. 11/18/2011)

The Ninth Circuit decided that residential burglary, specifically a violation of California Penal Code § 459, constitutes a crime of violence. Thus, a person convicted under this Penal Code section would become ineligible for relief under withholding of removal pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3). The court determined that residential burglary fits the definition of a crime of violence because it is a felony that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense. The court noted that any time a burglar enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime there is a risk that in the course of committing the crime he will encounter one of its occupants, and use physical force against that occupant either to accomplish his crime or to escape apprehension. There’s not much more analysis than that. Bottom line is that a convicted burglar will not be eligible for many forms of immigration relief.

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