Shuti v. Lynch, No. 15-3835 (6th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Shuti, from Albania, entered the U.S. as a permanent resident in 2008 at age 13. In 2014, Shuti and some friends committed a “larceny of marijuana.” Shuti pleaded guilty to felony unarmed robbery, defined as “larceny of any money or other property” accomplished by “force or violence against any person” or “assault[ing] or put[ting] the person in fear.” Mich. Comp. Laws 750.530. Shuti was sentenced to more than two years in prison. DHS initiated removal, 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2). A non-citizen convicted of an aggravated felony after admission is ineligible for most discretionary relief; “aggravated felony” is defined as including “a crime of violence (as defined in section 16 of Title 18 ....) for which the term of imprisonment [is] at least one year,” 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43)(F). The cross-referenced definition of “crime of violence” is: an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used. Shuti unsuccessfully applied for discretionary relief, claiming that his attorney “never discussed” the immigration consequences of his plea. The BIA affirmed, stating that unarmed robbery was “categorically a crime of violence” under 18 U.S.C. 16(b). Meanwhile, the Supreme Court held the Armed Career Criminal Act’s residual definition of “violent felony,” 18 U.S.C. 924(e)(2)(B)(ii), void for vagueness. The BIA concluded that the void-for-vagueness doctrine did not apply to “civil” deportations. The Sixth Circuit vacated the order of removal, concluding that the wide-ranging inquiry required by the two statutory phrases was the same, so the immigration code’s residual clause is also unconstitutionally vague.