Atenia Lorenzo v. Sessions, No. 15-70814 (9th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Where a state statute contains two layers of disjunctive lists, the analysis outlined in Taylor v. United States, 495 U.S. 575 (1990), for applying the categorical approach, applies to both layers of the statute and must be performed twice. A methamphetamine conviction under California Health & Safety Code 11378 or 11379(a) does not qualify as a controlled substance offense under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(B)(i).
The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's order finding petitioner removable for a controlled substance offense. The panel held that the California definition of methamphetamine was broader than the federal definition. The panel also held that the methamphetamine element applicable to a conviction under sections 11378 or 11379(a) was not divisible, because the different varieties of methamphetamine covered by California law were alternative means of committing a single crime rather than alternative elements of separate crimes. Therefore, the panel did not apply the modified categorical approach.