Friday, March 5, 2010

Gonzalez-Balderas v. Holder (7th Circuit March 5, 2010)

On Petition to Review an Order of the BIA, the Seventh Circuit affirmed a denial of a Mexican National's request to reapply for admission retroactive to the date of her second reentry. The petitioner initially entered the U.S. illegally by using someone else's documentation and removed, which made her ineligible to seek readmission for five years. She illegally reentered a second time, which meant that she would be prevented from reapplying for permission to enter for ten years. Thus, in affirming the denial, the court held that application for retroactive relief cannot be granted when the effect would be to lift the ten-year bar.

Gonzalez-Balderas v. Holder, No. 09-1890

The petitioner, a Mexican citizen, entered the United States illegally by the use of someone else’s documentation and was promptly removed. 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b)(1)(A)(i). Her removal made her ineligible to seek readmission to the United States for five years unless she obtained permission to reapply for permission earlier. §§ 1182(a)(9)(A)(i), (iii).

Rather than either wait or ask for permission to reapply, she snuck back into the United States a month later. This meant that she was forbidden to reapply for permission to enter for ten years. § 1182(a)(9)(C)(i)(II)(ii). Still, here she was, undetected, and the following year her husband, a lawful permanent resident of the United States (since then he has become a citizen), whom she had married shortly after her second illegal entry, filed a visa petition on her behalf. The petition was granted, and later she filed an application to adjust her status, on the basis of her husband’s status, to that of a lawful permanent resident. § 1255(i)(1).

Upon discovering that she had reentered the country illegally after being removed, the Department of Home- land Security, though it could have removed her sum- marily, § 1231(a)(5), instead merely denied her applica- tion for adjustment of status and scheduled a new removal hearing. At that hearing which she asked the immigration judge to permit her to reapply for ad- mission retroactive to the date of her reentry. Her authority was 8 C.F.R. § 212.2(i)(2), which states that an adjustment of status can be ordered retroactively.

The immigration judge, seconded by the Board of Immigration Appeals, ruled on the authority of In re Torres-Garcia, 23 I. & N. Dec. 866 (BIA 2006), that an application for retroac- tive relief (which the Board calls “nunc pro tunc”—“now for then”—relief, a term that properly refers, rather, to cor- recting a mistake, Central Laborers’ Pension, Welfare & Annuity Funds v. Griffee, 198 F.3d 642, 644 (7th Cir. 1999); King v. Ionization Int’l, Inc., 825 F.2d 1180, 1188 (7th Cir. 1987)) cannot be granted when the effect would be to lift the ten-year bar.

Retroactive relief is a tool long employed by the immigra- tion authorities, based on what they believe to be implied statutory authority to provide relief from the harsh provi- sions of the immigration laws in sympathetic cases. See, e.g., Patel v. Gonzales, 432 F.3d 685, 693 (6th Cir. 2005); Edwards v. INS, 393 F.3d 299, 308-09 (2d Cir. 2004). This case conceivably is one. The petitioner is 51 years old and has three children, one a U.S. citizen and the others lawful permanent residents, and apart from her illegal entries she has been law-abiding. But the Board ruled that the regulation cannot contravene the statute that bars a removed alien from reapplying for admission for ten years.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Illegal immigrant marrying US citizen. Can I apply for residency?

Question: I am an undocumented immigrant was brought to the US when i was about 6yrs old, have lived here ever since, i am going to marry a US citizen. We are trying to figure out what we need to do to make me a resident. Some have told us it would be better to get married in the country i was born in and then apply for residency others say we should get married here in the US and apply for residency???? Need advice please!! Thanks in advance!

Answer: Illegal immigrant marrying US citizen. How can we apply for residency for illegal immigrant?

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Adjustment of Status to Lawful Permanent Resident. Precedent Decisions Pertaining to Adjustment of Status

(1) Some Precedent Decisions Dealing with General Eligibility for Adjustment of Status to That of Permanent Resident :

Matter of Egbunine , 19 I. & N. Dec. 478 (BIA, 1987) . An alien may not adjust his status if he seeks to receive an immigrant visa on the basis of a marriage which was entered into while the alien was in immigration proceedings.

Matter of Arthur , 20 I. & N. Dec. 475 (BIA, 1992) . Alien may adjust status based on a marriage entered into after the commencement of proceedings if the alien establishes "by clear and convincing evidence to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that the marriage was entered into in good faith and ...was not entered into for the purpose of procuring the alien's entry as an immigrant."

Matter of Ching , 15 I. & N. Dec. 772 (BIA, 1976) . Where a visa petition has not been approved, applicant is statutorily ineligible for section 245 relief.

Matter of Stockwell , 20 I. & N. Dec. 309 (BIA, 1991) . Section 245(d) of the Act does not prohibit an alien whose conditional permanent resident status has been terminated from adjusting his status under section 245(a).

Matter of Tabcum , 14 I. & N. Dec. 113 (R.C., 1972) . An alien who is the "accompanying spouse" of an exchange visitor's alien is subject to the foreign residence requirement of section 212(e) and is therefore ineligible for adjustment of status.

Matter of Davis , 10 I. & N. Dec. 441 (BIA, 1964) . An alien who entered the U.S. as a transit without visa is ineligible for adjustment of status.

Matter of Loo Bing Sun , 15 I. & N. Dec. 307 (BIA, 1975) . An alien admitted with a nonquota immigrant visa procured by fraud is ineligible for adjustment of status if inadmissible under section 212(a)(19) and ineligible for 212(i) waivers.

Matter of Monteran , 11 I. & N. Dec. 717 (BIA, 1966) . An alien who (1) was born in the U.S., (2) expatriated abroad, and (3) was paroled into the U.S., is eligible for adjustment of status.

Matter of Krastman , 11 I. & N. Dec. 720 (BIA, 1966) . An alien who, following lawful admission to the U.S. for permanent residence, became deportable because of conviction for crimes involving moral turpitude, is not precluded from establishing statutory eligibility for adjustment of status.

Matter of Sanchez-Linn , 20 I. & N. Dec. 362 (BIA, 1991) . An applicant for registry under section 249 of the Act must prove he or she is at present a person of good moral character, and has been such for a reasonable period of time preceding the application.

Matter of Naulu , 19 I. & N. Dec. 351 (BIA, 1986) . A derivative beneficiary "accompanying or following to join" the principal alien cannot precede the principle. However, once the principal acquires permanent resident status, the spouse and/or child is not barred from adjustment by reason of having preceded him as a nonimmigrant.

(2) Some Precedent Decisions Dealing with Whether an Alien Has Been Inspected and Admitted or Paroled .

Matter of Areguillin , 17 I. & N. 308 (BIA, 1980) ; Matter of V-Q- , 9 I. & N. Dec. 78 (BIA, 1960) ; Matter of Wong , 12 I. & N. Dec. 733 (BIA, 1968) . Physically presenting oneself for questioning and making no knowing false claim to U.S. citizenship constitutes being inspected and admitted for section 245 purposes.

Matter of Areguillin , 17 I. & N. Dec. 308 (BIA, 1980) . The alien bears the burden of proving presentation of inspection to establish eligibility for adjustment of status.

Matter of Wong , 12 I. & N. Dec. 733 (BIA, 1968) ; Matter of Woo , 11 I. & N. Dec. 706 (BIA, 1966) . An alien who gains admission to the U.S. by a knowing false claim to citizenship has not been "inspected and admitted".

Matter of Robles , 15 I. & N. Dec. 734 (BIA, 1976) . Entry after intentionally evading the inspection required by the immigration laws and regulations is an entry without inspection, and the alien cannot be deemed inspected and admitted.

Matter of Lim , 10 I. & N. Dec. 653 (BIA, 1963) . An alien who entered as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard is ineligible for adjustment of status, because he was not inspected and admitted, or paroled into the U.S.

(3) Some Precedent Decisions Dealing with Crewman Arriving by or Destined to a Vessel :

Matter of Rebelo , 13 I. & N. Dec. 84 (BIA, 1968) distinguished; Matter of Campton , 13 I. & N. Dec. 535 (BIA, 1970) . An alien who is a crewman by occupation and whose last entry was sought and gained solely as a crewman is ineligible for adjustment of status notwithstanding an earlier admission as a temporary visitor for pleasure. (What matters is the most recent entry. For example, if an alien who is a crewman by profession last sought entry as a visitor for pleasure and was admitted as such (or paroled), he or she is eligible to apply for adjustment of status.

Matter of Goncalves , 10 I. & N. Dec. 277 (BIA, 1963) . An alien's entry in transit as a seaman to join a ship and depart constitutes entry as a crewman, and he or she is therefore ineligible to apply for adjustment of status.

Matter of Quintero-Correa , 11 I. & N. Dec. 343 (BIA, 1964) . Arrival as a "workaway" does not preclude adjustment of status in the case of an alien who has no background as an occupation seaman, who was in possession of a valid unexpired nonimmigrant visa, and who was inspected and admitted as a temporary visitor for pleasure.

(4) Some Precedent Decisions Dealing with Unauthorized Employment :

Matter of Raol , 16 I. & N. Dec. 466 (BIA, 1978) . An alien's employment is unauthorized unless the Service has specifically approved the employment. A labor certification issued by the Secretary of Labor does not, in itself, authorize an alien's employment in the U.S.

Matter of Tien , 17 I. & N. Dec. 436 (BIA, 1980) . When the basis for an alien's application for adjustment has ceased to exist (e.g., if the alien no longer intends to work for the employer who obtained his or her labor certification), the application is deemed abandoned, and the alien is no longer exempted from section 245(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Matter of Hall , 18 I. & N. Dec. 203 (BIA, 1982) ; A alien who engages in fund-raising activities as part of his missionary work and receives full support is considered to have engaged in unauthorized employment and is therefore barred from adjusting status.

(5) Some Precedent Decisions Dealing with an Alien Who Is Likely to Become a Public Charge :

Matter of Vindman , 16 I. & N. Dec. 131 (R.C., 1977) . Where the record reflects applicants were receiving public assistance with no prospects for their earning a livelihood or providing self support the application for adjustment of status would be denied.

Matter of Perez , 15 I. & N. Dec. 136 (BIA, 1974) . The fact that an alien has been on welfare does not, by itself, establish likelihood of becoming a public charge.

Matter of Harutunian , 14 I. & N. Dec. 583 (R.C., 1974) ; Matter of Vindman , 16 I. & N. Dec. 131 (R.C., 1977). A determination as to the likelihood of becoming a public charge should take into consideration factors such as an alien's age, incapability of earning a livelihood, a lack of sufficient funds for self-support, and lack of a person willing and able to assure that the alien will not need public support.

(6) Some Precedent Decisions Dealing with Discretionary Denials :

Matter of Marques , 16 I. & N. Dec. 314 (BIA, 1977) . An applicant for adjustment who meets the objective prerequisites is merely eligible for adjustment of status and is in no way entitled to adjustment.

Matter of Arthur , 20 I. & N. Dec 475 (BIA, 1992) . Motions to reopen for consideration of applications for adjustment of status based upon unadjudicated visa petitions which fall within the ambit of sections 204(g) and 245(e) (married while in proceedings) will not be granted.

Matter of Lee , 13 I. & N. Dec. 236 (BIA, 1969) ; Matter of Tayeb , 12 I. & N. Dec. 739 (BIA, 1968) . Consideration must be given to an advisory report from the Department of State which indicates the alien's adjustment would have an adverse effect on relations with the applicant's government.

Matter of Barrios , 10 I. & N. Dec. 172 (BIA, 1963) . The favorable exercise of discretion is warranted when an alien entered the U.S. as a nonimmigrant fully intending to comply with the terms of admission and did not formulate a specific intention to become a permanent resident until after arrival.

Matter of Francois , 10 I. & N. Dec. 168 (BIA, 1963) ; Matter of Marques , 16 I. & N. Dec. 314 (BIA, 1977) . Good moral character is a factor which must be considered in determining whether discretion should be exercised in a particular case.

Matter of Khan , 17 I. & N. Dec. 508 (BIA, 1980) . Unauthorized employment alone should not ordinarily result in the discretionary denial of adjustment to those individuals who are statutorily eligible for that relief, no other negative considerations being present.

Matter of Aguirre , 13 I. & N. Dec. 661 (BIA, 1971) . An officer must make an independent exercise of discretion on all the facts present.

Matter of Blas , 15 I. & N. Dec. 626 (A.G., 1976) . Although family ties will ordinarily result in favorable exercise of discretion, they neither must nor should be used where it appears that the alien has engaged in a course of deception designed to produce those very ties.

Matter of Kai Hing Hui , 15 I. & N. Dec. 288 (BIA, 1975) . An alien who gained entry by using a nonresident alien Mexican border crossing card obtained by misrepresentation is excludable under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i), and the case does not merit the favorable exercise of discretion.

Matter of Tanahan , 18 I. & N. Dec. 339 (R.C., 1981) . Adjustment of status under section 245 was not designed to supersede the regular consular visa-issuing processes or to be granted in non-meritorious cases.

Matter of Arai , 13 I. & N. Dec. 494 (BIA, 1970) ; Matter of Leung , 16 I. & N. Dec. 12 (DD, 1976) . Where adverse factors are present in a given application for adjustment of status, it may be necessary for the applicant to offset these by a showing of unusual or even outstanding equities. In the absence of adverse factors, adjustment will ordinarily be granted as a matter of discretion.

Matter of Garcia-Castillo , 10 I. & N. Dec. 516 (BIA, 1964) . Entry as a nonimmigrant with a preconceived intention to remain is a serious adverse factor to be considered.

Matter of Cavazos , 17 I. & N. Dec. 215 (BIA, 1980) . In the absence of other adverse factors, an application for adjustment by an immediate relative should generally be granted in the exercise of discretion notwithstanding the fact that the applicant entered as a nonimmigrant with a preconceived intention to remain.

Matter of Ibrahim , 18 I. & N. Dec. 55 (BIA, 1981). The benefits of Matter of Cavazos , supra , are limited to immediate relatives, and an application for adjustment by a fifth preference immigrant with a preconceived intention to remain is properly denied in the exercise of discretion.

Matter of Baltazar , 16 I. & N. Dec. 108 (BIA, 1977) . Evidence indicating that the alien obtained a sham divorce primarily to obtain immigration benefits is a significant adverse factor bearing on discretion.

Matter of Ozcan , 15 I. & N. Dec. 301 (BIA, 1975) . An alien who has misstated or at least materially overstated qualifications on an application for a labor certification does not warrant the favorable exercise of discretion.

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