We're less than one week into the month, but the Ninth Circuit seems to be on an Arizona crimmigration binge, issuing two decisions in as many days that address the immigration consequences of Arizona convictions.
On November 5, 2014, the court issued a decision in Ibarra-Hernandez v. Holder, addressing the Arizona statute criminalizing the "taking of the identity of another." This statute, which criminalizes the use of both fictitious and real identities, is not categorically a crime involving moral turpitude. It is, however, also divisible. Thus, the court proceeded to the modified categorical approach and examined Ibarra-Hernandez's plea transcript, which indicated that she used the social security number of a real person to obtain employment. The court construed this act was a form of theft involving fraud, and therefore, a crime involving moral turpitude. The court did recognize that the use of a fictitious person's identity would not be a crime involving moral turpitude. Nonetheless, a potentially harsh result for an undocumented individual individual who uses another person's identity to work, but causes him or her no economic harm (and perhaps even improving his or her future social security income!)
The next day, the Ninth Circuit issued its decision in Leal v. Holder, taking up the Arizona statute defining felony endangerment. Leal argued that the reckless mens rea needed to sustain a conviction, which included recklessness based on voluntary intoxication, was insufficient to demonstrate moral turpitude. The court disagreed, finding that the harmful behavior criminalized by the statute (conduct that creates a substantial, actual risk of imminent death to another person) was severe enough to make up for the lower level of mens rea. The court concluded that the statute was categorically a crime involving moral turpitude.
The full text of Ibarra-Hernandez v. Holder can be viewed here: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2014/11/05/11-70739.pdf
The full text of Leal v. Holder can be viewed here: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2014/11/06/12-73381.pdf