Thursday, September 17, 2020

Safaryan v. Barr (9th Cir. - Sept. 17, 2020)

You see people kicked out of the country for a lot of things.  You generally don't see 'em kicked out for road rage on the 101-405 interchange.

Eduard Safaryan comes to the U.S. on a tourist visa from Armenia in 1999.  He overstays his visa, finds love, and marries his wife in Los Angeles in 2000.  He and his wife have three kids (all U.S. citizens) and his wife (who was a permanent resident) becomes a citizen in 2002.

The problem for Mr. Safaryan is the whole "road rage" incident.  Another car cuts him off on the (very busy) 101-405 interchange in Sherman Oaks, Ms. Safaryan gets super miffed, and after following the offending car for a couple of miles "fake" swerves into it and then intentionally sideswipes it.  That's the only crime he's ever committed (as far as I can tell), and he ultimately gets convicted and sentenced to 270 days in jail.  Though he actually only serves 5 days.

But those 5 days are a big deal.  Since the U.S. is now moving to deport the guy back to Armenia.  On the grounds that he's now been convicted of an offense of moral turpitude.

So that road rage incident and five days in prison leaves three U.S. citizen children without a father and a U.S. citizen spouse without her husband.

That's a pretty big deal.