Rodriguez Gonzalez v. Garland, No. 22-60091 (5th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Petitioner is a native citizen of Mexico who received lawful permanent resident status in the United States in 2003. In 2014, Petitioner was convicted by way of a guilty plea of an Aggravated Robbery in Texas. Petitioner was then deemed removable by an Immigration Judge ("IJ"). The Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") affirmed, finding that Petitioner had been convicted of an "aggravated felony."
The Fifth Circuit affirmed. Under 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii), an “alien who is convicted of an aggravated felony at any time after admission is deportable.” Section 1101(a)(43) of title 8 provides a list of offenses that qualify as aggravated felonies, which includes felony theft crimes, felony crimes of violence and attempts to commit these offenses. Petitioner argued that “since the Texas definition of a robbery encompasses an attempt to commit theft, it cannot categorically be defined as a theft offense, as an actual taking or exercise of control over the property of another is not needed for purposes of a conviction.
However, the court held that, for Petitioner's purposes, it didn't matter if he was convicted of attempted theft or aggravated theft. The court explained that Petitioner is ineligible for asylum because his conviction qualifies as a non-political felony crime of violence as defined in 18 U.S.C. Sec. 16(a).