The Board of Immigration Appeals recently upheld an immigration judge’s decision to deport a longtime lawful permanent resident back to Mexico. The man obtained his green card in 2001 and four US citizen children.
The problem for this Iowa man was that he had pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Although he only received probation as the result of the Iowa conviction, the charge was serious enough to warrant his deportation. The Department of Homeland Security submitted evidence of the charge and the plea. According to the criminal records, the man was arrested with 400 grams of marijuana and $1400 in cash.
The man and his attorney tried to argue that his case fell within the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision, Moncrieffe v. Holder. In that case, the Court held that if the alien’s conviction does not establish actual renumeration to the alien for the drug sale or does not establish more than a small amount of marijuana, it is not an aggravated felony for purposes of deportation. Given the cash and the large amount of pot, the BIA concluded that Moncrieffe did not apply.
The BIA also held that there was no discretionary, humanitarian relief available to the man.