Said Ahmed v. Jefferson B. Sessions, III

United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth Circuit ___________________________ No. 17-2035 ___________________________ Said Haji Ahmed Petitioner v. Jefferson B. Sessions, III, Attorney General of the United States Respondent ____________ Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals ____________ Submitted: February 14, 2018 Filed: May 15, 2018 [Published] ____________ Before LOKEN, BENTON, and ERICKSON, Circuit Judges. ____________ PER CURIAM. Resolution of this appeal requires us to resolve whether Said Haji Ahmed (“Ahmed”) has been convicted of an aggravated felony justifying his removal from the United States. We hold that he has. Ahmed, a native and citizen of Somalia, was admitted to the United States as a refugee in March 2000. On August 25, 2008, he was granted lawful permanent resident status under § 209(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”). On November 16, 2009, Ahmed pled guilty in North Dakota state court to three criminal charges. Relevant to this appeal is Ahmed’s conviction for Unlawful Entry Into a Vehicle, in violation of N.D. CENT. CODE § 12.1-22-04(1)(b), (2), a Class C felony carrying a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. The court sentenced Ahmed on the felony count to one year in prison, first to serve 280 days, with the remainder suspended for one year during which Ahmed was placed on probation. In March 2010, Ahmed was served with a notice to appear for removal proceedings pursuant to § 237(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the INA. The Immigration Judge (“IJ”) concluded that Ahmed’s conviction was an aggravated felony under INA § 101(a)(43)(G) because Ahmed was convicted of a crime that related to theft for which he had been sentenced to a year imprisonment. The IJ denied Ahmed’s requests for asylum, withholding of removal, and voluntary departure, and ordered that Ahmed be removed from the United States. A tortured procedural history developed over the next six years, the details of which are unimportant for our determination. In the final analysis, the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) concluded that Ahmed’s conviction was an aggravated felony under INA § 101(a)(43)(U), which rendered him statutorily ineligible for asylum. The dispositive issue on appeal is whether the record contains sufficient facts to support the BIA’s conclusion that Ahmed’s conviction was for an aggravated felony attempted theft as defined by 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(U) and (G). “We review the BIA’s legal determination de novo, according substantial deference to the BIA’s interpretation of the statutes and regulations it administers.” Tostado v. Carlson, 481 -2- F.3d 1012, 1014 (8th Cir. 2007). We review the “interpretation of federal criminal statutes de novo without according any deference.” Id. Ahmed was sentenced to a one-year term of imprisonment based on his guilty plea to count 1 of an amended information. Count 1 charged: UNLAWFUL ENTRY INTO A VEHICLE in violation of Section 12.1-22-04(1)(b) & (2), N.D.C.C. in that on or about June 19, 2009: The defendant, knowing that he was not licensed or privileged to do so, entered a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft, without the use of force, with ...

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