Alfred v. Garland, No. 19-72903 (9th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Alfred entered the U.S. from Palau under the Compact of Free Association between the U.S. and several Pacific Island territories. Seven years later, Alfred pled guilty in Washington state court to second-degree robbery and two counts of attempted robbery in the second degree. According to his plea agreement, Alfred alone first tried to obtain cash from a credit union teller before going to a coffee kiosk and taking money from the barista. He then attempted to carjack a vehicle. During Alfred’s incarceration, he was charged as removable under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) because he had been convicted of an aggravated felony as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43)(G)--a theft or burglary offense for which the term of imprisonment is at least one year. According to the IJ, the Ninth Circuit’s Alvarado-Pineda holding controlled; the state statute under which Alfred was convicted was a categorical match to the federal generic offense. Alfred, like Alvarado-Pineda, had been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than a year for each conviction. The BIA affirmed.
The Ninth Circuit vacated, citing its post-Alvarado-Pinedo holding, Valdivia-Flores, that convictions for robbery in the second degree and attempted robbery in the second degree under Washington law do not qualify as aggravated felonies under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43)(G), (U).