In a departure from prior precedent, the Third Circuit has determined that the particularly serious crime bar, as applied in both the asylum and withholding of removal contexts, includes non-aggravated felonies. The court concluded that in the asylum context, (1) aggravated felonies are a subset of offenses that constitute particularly serious crimes; (2) the Attorney General has the authority to designate other offenses as per se particularly serious; and (3) the Attorney General retains the authority, through a case-by-case evaluation of the facts surrounding an individual alien’s specific offense, to deem that alien to have committed a particularly serious crime. Similarly, the withholding context, aggravated felonies are a subset of particularly serious crimes and Congress has deemed one subset of aggravated felonies, namely those for which the alien was sentenced to at least five years, particularly serious per se.

The full text of Bastardo-Vale v. Attorney General can be found here: