May 13, 2013 4th Circuit published opinion

Karimi v Holder

Karimi’s asylum was revoked based on his guilty plea to misdemeanor assault in Maryland. The panel, 2-1, reversed. The majority first held that the case did not need to be remanded as the legal issue of whether the Maryland conviction was a crime of violence was considered by the appeals board and could be determined on the record on appeal. It held that the assault conviction was based on Karimi’s admission that he grabbed a police officer’s hand which is not an act which is violent or has a high probability of inflicting physical harm on another. The majority declined to consider other evidence in a statement of probable cause as it was not mentioned by the prosecutor at the hearing nor admitted by Karimi. Thus, there was no proof by clear and convincing evidence that Karimi’s conviction was for a crime of violence and the revocation of his asylum was reversed. The dissent argued the case should have been remanded as Holder had a legitimate reason to allow the appeals board to correct its misunderstanding as to the scope of the administrative appeal.

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