Duran Escobar v. Lynch, No. 12-70930 (9th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Petitioner, a native and citizen of El Salvador, seeks review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's denial of petitioner's application for cancellation of removal. The IJ determined that petitioner was removeable based on her prior conviction under California Penal Code section 136.1(a), for witness tampering, because it is a categorical crime involving moral turpitude. The court granted the petition for review with respect to the application for cancellation of removal, concluding that the IJ and BIA failed to consider the broad definition of “malice” in section 136, which indicates that the offense is not a categorical match to the generic definition of a crime involving moral turpitude. The court declined to reach the question of divisibility sua sponte. The court remanded to the BIA to consider whether section 136.1(a) is divisible and, if so, to conduct the modified categorical analysis.