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United States v. Aifang Ye

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

July 10, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICAN, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
AIFANG YE, Defendant-Appellant

Argued and Submitted, Honolulu, Hawaii February 19, 2015.

Appeal from the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands. D.C. No. 1:12-cr-00009-RVM-2. Ramona V. Manglona, Chief District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY[*]

Criminal Law

Affirming convictions relating to the provision of false information on a passport application in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1542, the panel held that a violation of § 1542 does not require specific intent.

The panel held that a conviction under the first paragraph of § 1542 requires only that, in applying for a passport, the defendant made a statement that the defendant knew to be untrue. The panel therefore rejected the defendant's arguments about purported flaws in the jury instructions that depend on the notion that specific intent is required by § 1542.

The panel held that the defendant's argument that the government's failure to call certain translators as witnesses at trial violated her rights under the Confrontation Clause is foreclosed by precedent.

David G. Banes (argued), O'Connor Berman Dotts & Banes, Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, for Defendant-Appellant.

Ross K. Naughton (argued), Assistant United States Attorney, and Alicia A. G. Limtiaco, United States Attorney, United States Attorneys' Office, Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Before: Richard R. Clifton, N. Randy Smith, and Michelle T. Friedland, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Friedland.

OPINION

Michelle T. Friedland, Circuit Judge:

Following a jury trial, Aifang Ye appeals her convictions relating to the provision of false information on a passport application. She argues that the district court's jury instructions erroneously failed to condition her convictions on a finding that she intended to violate the passport laws. We hold that the crimes for which Ye was convicted are not specific intent crimes, so her challenges to the jury instructions fail. Ye's additional argument that the government's failure to call certain translators as witnesses at trial violated her rights under the Confrontation Clause is foreclosed by precedent. We therefore affirm.

I. Background

Aifang Ye and her husband, Xigao Cheng, both Chinese citizens, traveled from China to Saipan in September 2011. Ye's tourist visa permitted her to stay until October 2011. Xigao returned to China in September, but Ye, who was pregnant with their second child, overstayed her visa. In February 2012, Ye gave birth to her daughter, Jessie, ...


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