Mr. Familia Rosario is a permanent resident who is alleged to be removable as an aggravated felon. He was convicted of aiding and abetting a conspiracy to import aliens for an immoral purpose (i.e., a house of prostitution). He pled guilty in a plea agreement that specified that his involvement was minor; the only act alleged was that he brought condoms to the sex-workers. Under the aggravated felony definition, any offense that "relates to the owning, controlling, managing, or supervising of a prostitution business" is an aggravated felony, so the question is whether Mr. Familia Rosario’s conviction qualifies. The Board of Immigration Appeals held that his conviction “relates to” managing a prostitution business, because an individual who abets a crime is held liable for the crime to the same extent as others; the fact that his role was minor was irrelevant, said the Board.
NIJC argued that the Board's approach seems inconsistent with the statutory text, because it in effect eliminates the "owning, controlling, managing, or supervising" language; any offense "that relates to ... a prostitution business" is an aggravated felony, under its approach.
The briefing was completed on May 18, 2011. Oral arguments took place on June 10, 2011. The Seventh Circuit then remanded the case to the Board to permit Mr. Familia Rosario to seek a discretionary waiver which would permit him to remain in the
Mr. Familia Rosario was represented by NIJC's Chuck Roth and pro bono partner Jenner & Block LLP's Iris Bennett and Garrett Levin.