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Eleventh Circuit rules that Florida Statute 893.13 is not An Aggravated Felony

Last week, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that Florida Statute 893.013(1)(a)(2) is not an aggravated felony under the Immigration and Naturalization Act. The respondent was placed in removal proceedings as an aggravated felon for his conviction under the statute. At the individual hearing, the respondent challenged his designation as an aggravated felon and the immigration judge ordered his removal.  The BIA upheld the immigration judge’s decision and he petitioned the Eleventh Circuit for review. 

Upon review, the Eleventh Circuit ruled, using the categorical approach, that Florida’s Statute  is not an aggravated felony since someone could be convicted under it without knowledge of the nature of the substance in his possession. 

This decision is the latest in a series of cases the Eleventh Circuit has issued relating to immigration consequences of criminal offenses. These pro-immigrant decisions are helpful for immigrants with drug offenses. Of course, the best course is not to get in trouble in the first place. Comment or contact me if you have any questions. 

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