Prado v. Barr, No. 17-72914 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision denying petitioner's appeal of the IJ's determinations that petitioner was removable and ineligible for asylum. The IJ determined that petitioner's prior California felony conviction for possession of marijuana was an "aggravated felony" and an offense "relating to a controlled substance" that rendered her removable. However, petitioner argued that the conviction was no longer a predicate to removal because it was recalled and reclassified as a misdemeanor under California's Proposition 64.
The panel held that valid state convictions retain their immigration consequences even when modified or expunged for reasons of state public policy. Therefore, the panel agreed with the BIA that petitioner's initial conviction retained its immigration consequences and rendered her removable.
Court Description: Immigration. Denying Claudia Prado’s petition for review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals, the panel concluded that Prado’s felony conviction for Possession of Marijuana for Sale under California Health & Safety Code § 11359 made her removable even though the conviction had been recalled and reclassified as a misdemeanor under California’s Proposition 64. Based on her conviction, the Department of Homeland Security charged Prado as removable for: (1) committing an offense relating to a controlled substance; and (2) committing an aggravated felony, illicit trafficking in a controlled substance. While her removal charges were pending, Prado applied to the Superior Court of California to have her conviction reduced to a misdemeanor under California’s Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (the “Act”), which permits individuals who have completed their sentences under various statutes to have their felony convictions “redesignated” as misdemeanors. The state court granted Prado’s application, but the immigration judge and BIA found Prado removable as charged and denied relief from removal.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on February 3, 2020.