The Seventh Circuit has determined that it has jurisdiction to review whether a petitioner was properly placed in administrative removal proceedings based on a conviction for an aggravated felony even if the petitioner does not challenge the aggravated felony finding before the Department of Homeland Security. The court further determined that an Illinois conviction for obstruction of justice is not an aggravated felony. In so doing, the court declined to defer to the Board of Immigration Appeals' decision in Matter of Valenzuela Gallardo, but instead referred to the definition of an obstruction-related aggravated felony in Matter of Espinoza‐Gonzalez. Because the Illinois statute at issue does not require interference with the proceedings of a tribunal, it is not categorically an aggravated felony, and the court remanded the case for further proceedings. The court did conclude that the petitioner was improperly placed in administrative removal proceedings.
The full text of Victoria-Faustino v. Sessions can be found here: