Submitted: January 15, 2019
Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration
GRUENDER, WOLLMAN, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.
GRUENDER, Circuit Judge.
Dolic petitions for review of the Board of Immigration
Appeals ("BIA") decision affirming the immigration
judge's ("IJ") denial of her motion to
terminate removal proceedings. We deny the petition.
a native and citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was admitted to
the United States in 2006 as a conditional resident, and in
2009 her status changed to lawful permanent resident. In
March of 2017, a Missouri state court convicted Dolic of
three counts of receiving stolen property and four counts of
passing a bad check.
alien convicted of "two or more crimes involving moral
turpitude, not arising out of a single scheme of criminal
misconduct" is removable under the Immigration and
Nationality Act ("INA"). See 8 U.S.C.
§ 1227(a)(2)(A)(ii); see also Gomez-Gutierrez v.
Lynch, 811 F.3d 1053, 1057 (8th Cir. 2016). Based on
Dolic's convictions for receiving stolen property and
passing bad checks, the Department of Homeland Security
("DHS") charged her with removability. Dolic filed
a motion to terminate removal proceedings and alleged that
DHS had not demonstrated that her convictions qualified as
crimes involving moral turpitude. The IJ denied the petition,
finding that Dolic's convictions were for crimes
involving moral turpitude, and the BIA affirmed. On appeal,
Dolic does not contest the fact of these convictions or that
they arose out of multiple schemes of criminal misconduct,
but only whether they were for crimes involving moral
a conviction qualifies as a crime involving moral turpitude
("CIMT") is a legal question, subject to de novo
review. See Gomez, 811 F.3d at 1058. "In
analyzing that question, we afford substantial deference to
the [BIA's] interpretation of ambiguous statutory
language in the INA and will uphold its construction if it is
reasonable." Id. "In the absence of a
statutory definition," the BIA has defined a CIMT as one
"which is inherently base, vile, or depraved, and
contrary to the accepted rules of morality and the duties
owed between persons or to society in general."
Alonzo v. Lynch, 821 F.3d 951, 958 (8th Cir. 2016).
The Supreme Court has also established that a crime in which
fraud is an element meets the definition of a CIMT. See
Bobadilla v. Holder, 679 F.3d 1052, 1057 (8th Cir. 2012)
(citing Jordan v. De George, 341 U.S. 223, 229
not look to Dolic's particular conduct to determine if it
involved moral turpitude because the INA asks whether the
crime of conviction fits a certain category
("crimes involving moral turpitude"), not whether
an alien's acts fit that category. See
Bobadilla, 679 F.3d at 1054-55. Under this categorical
approach, "[a]n alien's actual conduct is irrelevant
. . . [and] the adjudicator must presume that the conviction
rested upon nothing more than the least of the acts
criminalized under the state statute." Alonzo,
821 F.3d at 960 (internal quotation marks omitted).
"a statute defines only a single crime with a single set
of elements," Mathis v. United States, 136
S.Ct. 2243, 2245 (2016), we ask whether the crime
"necessarily involved . . . facts equating to" the
definition of a CIMT, see Moncrieffe v. Holder, 569
U.S. 184, 190 (internal quotation marks omitted). If so, that
statute qualifies as a CIMT. Id. But, if there is a
"realistic probability . . . that the State would apply
its statute to conduct that falls outside" the
definition of a CIMT, that statute is overbroad and fails to
qualify. Id. at 206.
Rev. Stat § 570.120 governs the crime of passing bad
checks. It states, in pertinent part:
1. A person commits the offense of passing a bad check when
he or she:
(1) With the purpose to defraud, . . . passes a check . . .
knowing that it will not be paid by the drawee, or that there
is no such drawee; or
(2) . . . passes a check . . . knowing that there are
insufficient funds in or on deposit with that account for the
payment of such check . . . in full . . . upon such funds
then outstanding, or that there is no such account or no
drawee and fails to pay the check . . . within ten days after
receiving actual notice in writing that it has not been paid