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The BIA Applies Circumstance-Specific Approach to Determine Whether a Crime of Domestic Violence was Committed.

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In a recent May 27 decision, the BIA held that a conviction for a crime of domestic violence, may be analyzed based on a circumstance-specific approach, as opposed to a categorical approach.

In Matter of H. ESTRADA, the respondent had a conviction for simple battery under the Georgia Code. 26 I&N Dec. 749 (BIA 2016).  The respondent argued that under the categorical approach, his conviction for simple battery is not for a crime of domestic violence because the Georgia Code does not specify the domestic nature of the relationship.

The BIA found that the DHS established the domestic nature of the offense and found the respondent removable based on his conviction for a crime of domestic violence.  The Board reasoned that if the statute contains qualifying language that references the specific circumstances in which a crime was committed, then a circumstance-specific analysis must be applied. The Board found the circumstances of the case established the domestic nature of the relationship.

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