Deportation of Tunisian Man to Get Another Look
WASHINGTON (CN) - A Tunisian man who faces deportation based on his conviction for violating a Kansas drug paraphernalia law persuaded the Supreme Court to take up his case Monday.
Moones Mellouli had been a lawful permanent resident of the United States but the Board of Immigration Appeals deemed him removable after concluding that his July 2010 record qualified a conviction "relating to a controlled substance" within the meaning of subsection 1227(a)(2)(B)(i) under section 237(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Among classes of aliens lawfully present in this country whom the subsections says are removable from the United States is "any alien who at any time after admission has been convicted of a violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) any law or regulation of a state, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 802 of Title 21), other than a single offense involving possession for one's own use of 30 grams or less of marijuana, is deportable."
Mellouli argued that he is not removable because the state court record of conviction does not identify the controlled substance underlying his state paraphernalia conviction, and therefore the government failed to prove that the conviction related to a federal controlled substance, as § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i) requires.
The 8th Circuit rejected his challenge last year, but the Supreme Court agreed Monday to look at the case. Per its custom, the justices did not issue an comment on their order.