Matter of Silva-Trevino OVERRULED!


The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals released its decision in Olivas-Motta v. Holder, – F.3d – (9th Cir. May 17, 2013) which OVERRULES Matter of Silva-Trevino, 24 I&N Dec. 687 (AG 2008).

In Matter of Silva-Trevino, the Attorney General held that if the record of conviction is inconclusive on the issue of whether a conviction is for a crime involving moral turpitude, the immigration judge could consider evidence that was not part of the record and could conduct a fact-based hearing on the actual conduct underlying the offense to determine if the conduct involved moral turpitude.

Today, the Ninth Circuit held that the immigration judge is limited to the reviewable record of conviction when determining whether a conviction is a crime involving moral turpitude and may not consider evidence outside the record of conviction, including police reports, presentence reports, probation reports, dropped charges, etc.

Kudos to attorney Kara Hartzler for the exceptional legal work she dedicated to this case to obtain this victory for her client and for the many, many immigrants who will benefits from this decision.

Read the Court’s decision here: Olivas-Motta v. Holder, – F.3d – (9th Cir. May 17, 2013).