Lucio-Rayos v. Sessions

Brief of Amici Curiae Immigrant Defense Project, American Immigration Lawyers Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and National Immigrant Justice Center in Support of Petitioner (on petition for a writ of certiorari).

Brief filed: 08/13/2018


Lucio-Rayos v. Sessions

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 18-64

Prior Decision

Decision below 875 F.3d 573 (10th Cir. Nov. 14, 2017)

Question Presented

Whether a criminal conviction bars a noncitizen from applying for relief from removal when the record of conviction is merely ambiguous as to whether it corresponds to an offense listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act. 


The Court should intervene to establish a uniform rule governing the many contexts in which relief eligibility turns on a past conviction. Unless the Court intervenes, relief eligibility will vary based on differences and unreliability in state court record keeping practices. Many state courts do not regularly create criminal records, particularly in misdemeanor and other low-level cases. Criminal courts routinely destroy records, creating unfair and inconsistent immigration outcomes under the Tenth Circuit's rule. The deep circuit split on the issue means that noncitizens face non-uniform results depending on where DHS chooses to initiate proceedings. The Tenth Circuit's rule has a particularly harsh and unfair impact on noncitizens who are without counsel, detained, and have limited English proficiency.


Jayashri Srikantiah, Immigrants' Rights Clinic, Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA; Jeffrey T. Green, NACDL, Washington, DC.

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