Williams v. Barr

18-2535 Williams v. Barr In the United States Court of Appeals For the Second Circuit ______________ August Term, 2019 (Submitted: March 27, 2020 Decided: May 27, 2020) Docket No. 18-2535 ______________ ROBERT JUNIOR WILLIAMS, Petitioner, –v.– WILLIAM P. BARR, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent. ______________ B e f o r e: JACOBS, CARNEY, and BIANCO, Circuit Judges. ______________ Robert Junior Williams petitions for review of a 2018 Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) decision ordering him removed based on his 2016 Connecticut state conviction for carrying a pistol or revolver without a permit, in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 29-35(a). The BIA rejected Williams’s argument that section 29-35(a) criminalizes conduct that is not a “firearms offense” under the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(C), and that section 29-35(a) is therefore not a removable offense. Williams’s argument turns on a comparison of the “antique firearms” transportation exception of section 29-35(a) and the general exception for “antique firearms” found in the definition of an INA “firearms offense.” We conclude that the BIA erred in ruling that the exceptions are of equivalent reach and that the state statute is a categorical match to the federal statute. Furthermore, because our conclusion is determined by the text of the relevant statutes, the “realistic probability” test does not apply here, contrary to the BIA’s alternative holding. See Hylton v. Sessions, 897 F.3d 57, 63 (2d Cir. 2018). The petition for review is GRANTED. The order of removal is VACATED, and the cause is REMANDED to the BIA with directions to terminate Williams’s removal proceedings. GRANTED, VACATED, AND REMANDED. Judge Jacobs concurs in a separate opinion. ______________ Elyssa N. Williams, The Bronx Defenders, Bronx, NY, for Robert Junior Williams. Patricia E. Bruckner, Trial Attorney; Sabatino F. Leo, Senior Litigation Counsel; Joseph H. Hunt, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC, for William P. Barr, United States Attorney General. ______________ CARNEY, Circuit Judge: Robert Junior Williams petitions for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) decision subjecting him to removal from the United States on the basis of his 2016 conviction for unpermitted carrying of a pistol or revolver in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 29-35(a). Affirming the decision of an Immigration Judge (“IJ”), the BIA rejected Williams’s assertion that section 29-35(a) criminalizes more conduct than is described by the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) as a “firearms offense” in 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(C), and that it therefore cannot serve as a basis for removal. In re Robert Junior Williams, No. A055 568 293 (B.I.A. Aug. 2, 2018), 2 aff’g No. A055 568 293 (Immig. Ct. Hartford Feb. 13, 2018). The agency ruled in the alternative that, even if the state statute is broader, Williams’s petition still fails because he did not demonstrate a “realistic probability” under Gonzales v. Duenas-Alvarez, 549 U.S. 183, 193 (2007), that the state would apply its law to conduct beyond that covered by the federal law. On appeal, Williams ...

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