BIA Decision Changes Who Is Deportable (Matter of Alyajzi)

The Board of Immigration Appeal’s “BIA’s” decision in Matter of Alyajzi changes which aliens are deportable under INA 237(a)(2)(A)(i). It alters the legal practice of all Immigration attorneys. For those currently in deportation proceedings, it is of utmost importance. INA 237(a)(2)(A)(I) authorizes the removal of any alien who is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude committed within five years…….after the date of admission. What does five years after the date of admission  mean? Is an adjustment of status an admission? In essence, does the ‘five year clock’ restart when an alien adjusts his status?

Prior to the BIA’s decision Matter of Alyajzi, Immigration Judges were bound by the Matter of Shanu.. Matter of Shanu held that everytime an alien adjusted his status the ‘five year clock’ restarted.

For example, if an alien was admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant in 2001 and received a green card in 2008, is this alien deportable, under 237(a)(2)(A)(I)? Under the BIA’s decision in Matter of   Shanu, yes. The “five year clock” restarted when the alien received his green card in 2008.

 Matter of Alyajzi overruled Matter of Shanu. The Board of Immigration Appeals in Matter of Alyajzi held:

Thus, to ascertain an alien’s deportability under section 237(a)(2)(A)(i)of the Act, we look first to the date when his crime was committed. If, on that date, the alien was in the United States pursuant to an admission that occurred within the prior 5-year period, then he is deportable.  Conversely, the alien is not deportable if he committed his offense more than 5 years after the date of the admission pursuant to which he was then in the United States. Moreover, under this understanding of the phrase “the date of  admission,” the 5-year clock is not reset by a new admission from within the  United States (through adjustment of status). Rather, such a new admission merely extends an existing period of presence that was sufficient in and of itself to support the alien’s susceptibility to the grounds of deportability.

The BIA’s decision in Matter of Alyazji alters the analysis this key phrase of “five years after the date of admission.”

You should consult an Immigration Attorney to discuss the effect of  this decision upon your case.

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2 thoughts on “BIA Decision Changes Who Is Deportable (Matter of Alyajzi)

  1. Great Suggestion. I have a client who came to the United States in 1990 on a student visa. In 2000 he received his green card. In 2002, he was convicted of a crime. This crime is considered a crime involving moral turpitude(a deportable offense).
    The government placed my client in removal proceedings in 2010. He was charged with committing a crime within 5 years of admission. If the 5 year clock runs from his first entry, in 1990, then the client is not deportable. However, if the 5 year clock from his change of status, in 2000, then client is deportable.
    Prior to the BIA’s decision in Matter of Alyajzi, the 5 year clock begins again after every admission. After the BIA’s decision, the 5 year clock runs from his admission in 1990 because the client adjusted his status from inside the US. Thus, I filed a Motion to Terminate the removal proceeding. The case was terminated and the client lived happily ever after.

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