Although there is a general consensus that the immigration system in the United States is in dire need of reform, it is still unclear whether Congress will pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the near future. Under current immigration laws, noncitizens face serious consequences, even minor criminal convictions. The Immigration and Naturalization Act (“INA”) currently allows for a lawful permanent resident to be detained and placed in removal proceedings after a conviction for an “aggravated felony,” a conviction for a “crime involving moral turpitude” (“CIMT”) within five years of admission, or two convictions for “crimes involving moral turpitude.” Moreover, the overly broad interpretation of those terms has led to dire immigration consequences for even the pettiest of crimes. For instance, under the CIMT provision, a lawful permanent resident could be placed in removal proceedings for shoplifting no more than an article of clothing and a stuffed animal. Thus, a noncitizen could face removal over criminal convictions that, in many states, constitute misdemeanors and face penalties of no more than court supervision.

This Note examines the effect of Moncrieffe v. Holder in removal proceedings based on an aggravated felony conviction or convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude. It will argue that in Moncrieffe, the Supreme Court correctly limited the scope of review for determining whether a criminal conviction constitutes an aggravated felony. It will also argue that, because of analogous statutory language, Moncrieffe should be interpreted to limit the immigration judges’ review of whether a criminal conviction involves moral turpitude.