Advisory on Deportable Crimes of Domestic Violence: Matter of H. Estrada

Publication Date

A noncitizen who is convicted of a “crime of domestic violence” is deportable. INA 237(a)(2)(E)(i), 8 USC 1227(a)(2)(E)(i). In Matter of H. Estrada the BIA reaffirmed that the categorical approach must be used to determine that the offense is a “crime of violence” under 18 USC § 16, but it held that the circumstance-specific approach can be used to determine whether the victim and defendant shared the required domestic relationship. Under that approach, the BIA found that ICE can use any reliable evidence, including evidence from outside the record of conviction, to try to meet its burden of proving the relationship.

The BIA's holding regarding the circumstance specific approach should not apply to immigration cases arising within the Ninth Circuit at this time, but the Ninth Circuit may adopt this approach in the future.