On September 12, 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), finding that a conviction for malicious vandalism under California Penal Code § 594(a) involves damage or destruction to the property of another; that the “malice requirement” of § 594 establishes a readiness to “do evil”; that a crime of moral turpitude generally involves such “evil intent”; and, that where malicious vandalism is committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang with the specific intent to promote criminal conduct by gang members, thus endengering a gang enhancement under Cal. P.C. § 186.22(d), the offense is categorically a CIMT. The BIA also restated its prior holding that for a crime not to be a categorical CIMT, there must be a “realistic probability”—as opposed to a “theoretical possibility”—that the statute of conviction would be applied to reach conduct that does not involve moral turpitude. Matter of Hernandez, 26 I. & N. Dec. 397 (BIA 2014).
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