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04/15/2020

In 2016, California passed California Penal Code § 1473.7, a critical post-conviction relief vehicle for people no longer in criminal custody to move to eliminate prior convictions that violated constitutional and statutory rights to due process and effective assistance of counsel. Under decades of legal precedent, prior offenses vacated on this basis are outside the federal immigration definition of "conviction." Nevertheless, some DHS attorneys incorrectly argue that § 1473.7 vacaturs are not effective for immigration purposes. This practice advisory, a Sample Memorandum of Law and Table of BIA Cases, presents arguments and precedent for refuting DHS's arguments.