Obeya v. Sessions, No. 16-3922 (2d Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Petitioner challenged the BIA's retroactive application of a new rule expanding the types of larceny that qualify as a crime of moral turpitude. The Second Circuit granted the petition for review and reversed the BIA's latest order issued on remand. In this case, the BIA issued Matter of Diaz-Lizarraga, 26 I. & N. Dec. 847 (B.I.A. 2016), on the same day that it dismissed petitioner's appeal. The court considered the factors in Lugo v. Holder, 783 F.3d 119, 121 (2d Cir. 2015), to determine that the BIA could not apply the new rule in Diaz-Lizarraga retroactively. In light of the second and third Lugo factors, the court found that Diaz-Lizarraga was an abrupt departure from BIA precedent and that petitioner relied on the previous rule when pleading guilty. The court then applied the categorical approach and the BIA's pre-Diaz-Lizarraga standard for larceny crimes involving moral turpitude, and held that the BIA erred when it found that petitioner's larceny conviction constituted such a crime.