Legal Memorandum: Aggravated Felony under Immigration Laws

Issue: Does a conviction of violating Conn. Gen. Stat. 53-21, placing a child at risk of injury, constitute an ‘aggravated felony,’ as defined by federal immigration laws?

Area of Law: Criminal Law, Immigration & Naturalization Law
Keywords: Aggravated felony; Federal immigration laws; Placing a child at risk of injury
Jurisdiction: Connecticut, Federal, New York
Cited Cases: 237 F.3d 1216; 250 F.3d 105; 715 A.2d 680; 326 F.3d 367; 346 F.3d 44; 491 A.2d 404; 24 F.3d 1; 206 F.3d 253; 743 A.2d 635; 350 F.2d 87; 194 F.3d 539; 656 A.2d 232; 794 A.2d 506
Cited Statutes: 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii); § 1101(a)(43)(F); 18 U.S.C. § 16; Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-21(a)(1); Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-21(a)(1), § 53-21(a), § 53-21; 18 U.S.C. § 16; 18 U.S.C. § 16(a), 18 U.S.C. § 16(b); N.Y. Penal Law § 125.15(1)
Date: 03/01/2004

A person convicted of an aggravated felony is a deportable alien under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii).  That section provides:

Any alien (including an alien crewman) in and admitted to the United States shall, upon the order of the Attorney General, be removed if the alien is within one or more of the following classes of deportable aliens: 


            . . .  


            (2)(A)(iii)  Any alien who is convicted of an aggravated felony at any time after admission is deportable.

8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) (2003).

An “aggravated felony” is defined by statute as, among others, “a crime of violence (as defined in section 16 of title 18, not including a purely political offense) for which the term of imprisonment imposed [is] at least one year.”  Id. § 1101(a)(43)(F).  In turn, a “crime of violence” is defined as

(a) an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or  


(b) any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.

18 U.S.C. § 16 (2003).

The determination of deportability must result from a conclusion that Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-21(a)(1) constitutes a crime of […]

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