Elvis Leonel Morfa Diaz v. Acting Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, et al., No. 21-10763 (11th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Appellant, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, was a lawful resident of the United States when, in 1996, he was convicted for the attempted sale of cocaine under New York Penal Law Sec. 220.39(1). He was sentenced to five years' probation. In 2018, Appellant applied for naturalization with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service ("USCIS"). However, USCIS determined that Appellant's 1996 conviction qualified as an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1101(a)(43).
Appellant unsuccessfully sought an administrative appeal of the USCIS decision and then brought this action in the district court. The district court affirmed and Appellant appealed to the Eleventh Circuit.
On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed, finding that Appellant's 1996 conviction under Sec. 220.39(1) qualifies as an aggravated felony within the plain meaning of the Immigration and Nationality Act.