The Board of Immigration Appeals has determined that when analyzing whether the conduct criminalized by a state statute would be punishable as a felony under federal law, the adjudicator is not limited to examining the federal law that is most closely analogous to the state statute at issue. In the instant matter, Rosa was convicted of selling a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school in New Jersey in violation of N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:35-7. The New Jersey statute criminalized dispensing or distributing drugs, while the federal statute (21 U.S.C. § 860(a)) criminalizing drug activities near a school did not include dispensing drugs. However, all of the conduct criminalized by the New Jersey statute was included in a different federal statute (21 U.S.C. § 841(a)) which criminalized distributing or dispensing a controlled substance, without reference to the location of a school. Thus, the New Jersey conviction qualifies as a drug trafficking aggravated felony.
The full text of Matter of Rosa can be found here: