The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has granted cert. in a case involving the issue of whether a conviction under state law for simple drug possession, which is a federal misdemeanor, is an “aggravated felony” which has distinct and fatal immigration consequences.
The issue before the Court arose out of the 5th Circuit and 7th Circuit Courts of Appeal. The case from the 7th in unpublished. The title of the case is Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder; Escobar v. Holder, Docket: 09-60; 09-203.
The question presented in the Petition for Writ of Certiorari is whether:
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, a lawful permanent resident who has been "convicted"of an "aggravated felony" is ineligible to seek cancellation of removal. 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a)(3). The courts of appeals have divided 4-2 on the following question presented by this case:
Whether a person convicted under state law for simple drug possession (a federal law misdemeanor) has been "convicted" of an "aggravated felony" on the theory that he could have been prosecuted for recidivist simple possession (a federal law felony), even though there was no charge or finding of a prior conviction in his prosecution for possession.
You can follow the case more closely on SCOTUSblog.com. It will be very interesting to see how this one plays out.