Part I argues that the definition of “conviction” in the INA implicitly leaves room for courts to inquire into the procedural fairness underlying a foreign conviction. Part II surveys the traditional standards for evaluating the sufficiency of foreign convictions in the contexts of extradition and international comity, two areas where U.S. courts have had to decide when to honor foreign judgments for centuries. These longstanding criteria formed the background against which the INA definition was adopted and may provide guidance on how to apply this definition. Accordingly, Part III derives from this analysis suggestions for how the Department of State might better address these concerns in its visa issuance decisions, as well as for how the immigration courts in the Department of Justice might treat foreign convictions differently. Lastly, Part IV considers the practical questions of implementation raised by these suggestions.



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