Saturday, December 30, 2006

Park: Broad View of Counterfeiting Aggravated Felony

In Park v. Gonzales, No. 05-2054 (3d Cir. Dec. 29, 2006), the Third Circuit rounded out 2006 by ruling that Congess intended a broad definition of what counts as an aggravated felony due to being an offense related to counterfeiting. Someone was given more than one year of jail for knowingly selling clothes with fake Nike trademarks (a violation of 18 USC 2320). The issue was whether counterfeiting meant devious acts like forging government-issued money or any other type of counterfeiting such as using fake trademarks. The Third Circuit affirmed Judge Garcy's conclusion that by using the broad phrase of "relating to" counterfeiting, Congress intended a very broad definition, including crimes that merely involve using a counterfeit mark like a fake Nike trademark. So, it's an aggravated felony and the man cannot qualify for cancellation of removal even if hypothetically he has been in the US over 10 years with a US citizen wife who would suffer exceptional hardship if he were deported. Yes, an extremely harsh result. The case is at


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