Almeida v. Holder

The petitioner possessed illegal narcotics and committed larceny in violation of the Connecticut law.  The Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals found that he was removable as an aggravated felon and was therefore ineligible for cancellation of removal.

Procedural History

The US Court of Appeals denied the petition.


Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-123 states that a person is guilty of second-degree larceny when (1) he commits larceny as defined in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-119, and (2) his crime satisfies any of several additional conditions. The statute provides a non-exhaustive list of eighteen offenses constituting larceny, including, inter alia, embezzlement, obtaining property by false pretenses, acquiring lost property, theft of services, and receiving stolen property [Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-119(1), (2), (4), (7), (8)].

Each of the eighteen examples of larceny enumerated in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-119 requires proof of an intent to deprive, with the sole exception of § 53a-119(8), concerning the receipt of stolen property, which is nevertheless expressly included in the definition of “theft offense” at 8 U.S.C.S. § 1101(a)(43)(G). Connecticut’s statutory definition of larceny is not divisible because it is no broader than “theft offense” as defined by 8 U.S.C.S. § 1101(a)(43)(G).

The Issue

Whether the trial court’s decision should be adjusted as a matter of law.

The Holding/Reasoning

The US Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court’s decision to convict the defendant for larceny which is categorically a “theft offense” under 8 U.S.C.S. § 1101(a)(43)(G) and an aggravated felony under § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii). Additionally, the Court referred to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-119 which defines larceny with  generic requirement of an intent to deprive another person of some rights or benefits of property ownership. The statute therefore was not divisible, and a conviction under either theory of intent qualified as a “theft offense.”

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