What if he was a foreigner?

Thursday, February 7th, 2008
By: Jonathan MontagJ.D.

Christian Slater

Christian Slater was sentenced to serve ninety days in December 1997 for his August 1997 battery on a dating partner, battery on a peace officer, and being under the influence of a controlled substance. Battery of a dating partner is deemed a crime of domestic violence by immigration judges in California. The crime is a deportable offense. INA § 237(a)(2)(E). Being under the influence of a controlled substance is also a deportable offense, INA § 237(a)(2)(B)(i), as is being a drug abuser or addict. INA § 237(a)(2)(B)(ii). As he was sentenced to less than a year for the crimes of violence, he is not an aggravated felon and would be eligible for Cancellation of Removal relief, INA § 240A(a), for these crimes.
Earlier, in 1994, Mr. Slater pled guilty of a possession of an unloaded pistol. At the time, this crime would have rendered him deportable and ineligible for a pardon pursuant to the pardon statute at that time, INA § 212(c). Because of a quirk in the law, he might have been able to avoid deportation if he had a United States citizen wife. This crime is currently pardonable under the Cancellation of Removal form of relief. Had Mr. Slater been placed in removal proceedings and received Cancellation of Removal for the weapon charge before December 1997 and then gotten placed in removal proceedings again, he could not ask for this relief a second time for the domestic violence conviction and would be deported. INA § 240A(c)(6).


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