I just watched the following news clip about former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi who apparently was convicted under New Jersey’s hate crimes statute for using a webcam to spy on his freshman roommate, Tyler Clementi, who allegedly committed suicide as a result.
The question posed in the video is whether Ravi, who appears to be a lawful permanent resident (LPR), is deportable as a result of his conviction(s). They specifically ask the question: Is he deportable for having been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT).
I'll limit my response to the question asked.
Mind you, I haven't seen the certificate of conviction setting forth Mr. Ravi's conviction(s), but I have read that he was convicted under the New Jersey statute for invasion of privacy, and “bias intimidation” (the New Jersey hate crime).
Both appear to be issues of first impression with respect to their designation as CIMTs.
For the sake of hypothetical, let's assume that both convictions are CIMTs, that Mr. Ravi has no prior convictions with immigration consequences, and that he has been lawfully admitted for more than 5 years.
If Mr. Ravi has multiple convictions occurring more than five years after his lawful admission, but they arise out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct he isn't deportable under INA § 237(a)(2)(A)(i).
If it is determined that Mr. Ravi has multiple CIMTs that do not arise out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct he would be deportable under INA § 237(a)(2)(A)(ii) which states that:
Any alien who at the any time of admission is convicted of two or more CIMTs, not arising out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct, regardless of whether confined therefor and regardless of whether the convictions were in a single trial, is deportable.
So the bottom line is at this point I don't have enough information to be able to answer the question posed in the video. Depending on the facts, there could be a silver immigration lining for Mr. Ravi inside the dark cloud of deportation.
I don't have the time today to dig up any more of the facts, but feel free to contact me with them if you are interested in doing the leg work. I'll be happy to do a follow-up blog.
Matthew Kolken is a trial lawyer with experience in all aspects of United States Immigration Law including Immigration Courts throughout the United States, and appellate practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Courts of Appeals. He is admitted to practice in the courts of the State of New York , the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).