Although it will likely be overshadowed by the Supreme Court’s rulings today, the Board issued something of a blockbuster decision this morning interpreting issues involving both asylum and the definition of “conviction” under the INA.  Among the takeaways from the Board’s new decision in Matter of V-X-, 26 I&N Dec. 147 (BIA 2013):

  1. An asylee in removal proceedings must first have his asylum status terminated by the IJ before he can be found removable or inadmissible, and “the statutory grounds for termination of asylum status are narrower than the grounds of removability.”
  2. A grant of asylum is not an “admission” even though the Board said in Matter of S-A- that a woman granted asylum was “admitted to the United States as an asylee,” which the Board actually refuses to say was false, instead saying this language was “misleading” and “gratuitous.
  3. A Michigan youthful offender finding is a conviction for immigration purposes. 
  4. Moncrieffe v. Holder necessitates a remand both for purposes of determining whether asylum should be terminated and whether the respondent is inadmissible or removable.  While the Board doesn’t say how the IJ is supposed to apply Moncrieffe, the plain language of that decision says that it will be the government’s burden to prove that the respondent was distributing marijuana for “remuneration” and that his conviction involved more than a small amount.