Practice Advisory: Important Categorical Approach Issue

This advisory, issued jointly by IDP and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, discusses the potentially helpful impact that a pending Supreme Court case may have on whether immigration judges can look behind criminal convictions to examine underlying court records.  The criminal case, Descamps v. United States, has the potential to undermine the BIA’s problematic decision in Matter of Lanferman, 25 I&N Dec. 721 (BIA 2012), which permits resort to such records in many cases.   The advisory includes suggestions for immigration and criminal practitioners on how to handle cases while a decision in Descamps remains pending and also discusses potential obstacles to using a good decision in Descamps in immigration court (and arguments to overcome these obstacles).