Another Co-Counseling Program Win

In DeCarvalho v. Garland, as part of NILA’s co-counseling program, we teamed up with Jen Klein of the Committee for Public Counsel Services on a petition for review. On November 17, 2021, the First Circuit held that an IJ erred by treating a drug distribution conviction as if it were a per se bar to withholding of removal. Although the court did not go so far as vacate former AG Ashcroft’s decision in Matter of Y-L-, which established a presumption that all drug distribution offenses are particularly serious crimes, the court indicated concern about the validity of the presumption and whether it can actually be overcome. As we said in our briefing, Matter of Y-L- is predicated on false assumptions about drug convictions from the 1980s and early 1999s. The fact that particularly serious crime analysis holds onto this outdated idea of drug crimes as a singular scourge on our country is remnant of the racialized political efforts to stall the progress of the Black community.

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