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Drawing the line on legal fictions

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I don't see this withstanding en banc rehearing IF that is pursued.

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Drawing the line on legal fictions

  1. 1. Drawing the Line on Legal FictionsBy Joseph P. Whalen (June 6, 2013)In the case of Franika FLORES v. USCIS, ___F. 3d.___ (6th Cir. 2013)(No. 12-3549, June 4, 2013), the Sixth Circuit made a big mistake. Theyhave misinterpreted the intent of one small part of the TPS statue (INA244(f)(4), 8 USC 1254a(f)(4)), blown it out of proportion, and misappliedit. The small portion of the TPS statute under examination reads asfollows (with emphasis added):§1254a. Temporary protected status* * * * *(f) Benefits and status during period of temporary protected statusDuring a period in which an alien is granted temporary protected status under thissection­(1) the alien shall not be considered to be permanently residing in the United Statesunder color of law;(2) the alien may be deemed ineligible for public assistance by a State (as definedin section 1101(a)(36) of this title) or any political subdivision thereof which furnishessuch assistance;(3) the alien may travel abroad with the prior consent of the Attorney General; and(4) for purposes of adjustment of status under section 1255 of this title andchange of status under section 1258 of this title, the alien shall be considered asbeing in, and maintaining, lawful status as a nonimmigrant.The “legal fiction” of being considered as “maintaining nonimmigrantstatus” serves to prevent time in TPS status as being used against therecipient when determining such things as “unlawful presence” and“cancellation”. However, for adjustment or change of status, thestatement at (f)(4) PRESUMES that the alien already was in a lawfulnonimmigrant status. The privilege of changing or adjusting status hasother prerequisites. The Sixth Circuit wishes to overlook the openingsentence of the adjustment statutory provision which demands:§1255. Adjustment of status of nonimmigrant to that ofperson admitted for permanent residence(a) Status as person admitted for permanent residence on application and eligibilityfor immigrant visaThe status of an alien who was inspected and admitted or paroled into theUnited States or the status of any other alien having an approved petition forclassification as a VAWA self­petitioner may be adjusted by the Attorney General, in his
  2. 2. discretion and under such regulations as he may prescribe, to that of an alien lawfullyadmitted for permanent residence if (1) the alien makes an application for suchadjustment, (2) the alien is eligible to receive an immigrant visa and is admissible to theUnited States for permanent residence, and (3) an immigrant visa is immediatelyavailable to him at the time his application is filed.Flores is distinguishable from Arrabally & Yerrabally in that Flores didnot depart the U.S. on a grant of advance parole such that he was notsubsequently “paroled” back into the U.S. As long as he has TPS, hecould get AP, depart, return and re-apply based on the same approvedI-130.Matter of ARRABALLY AND YERRABELLY, 25 I&N Dec. 771 (BIA2012) (Amended Order) holds:An alien who leaves the United States temporarily pursuant to a grant of advance paroledoes not thereby make a “departure . . . from the United States” within the meaning ofsection 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §1182(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) (2006). Matter of Lemus, 24 I&N Dec. 373 (BIA 2007), clarified.* * * * *FN6 Nothing in the foregoing discussion is intended to suggest that a grant of parole intothe United States following a trip abroad is ever guaranteed. Rather, we acknowledge thatat the time of the returning alien’s application for admission, the DHS possessesdiscretionary authority under section 212(d)(5) of the Act to determine whether parole isappropriate. See Eligibility of Arriving Aliens in Removal Proceedings To Apply forAdjustment of Status and Jurisdiction To Adjudicate Applications for Adjustment ofStatus, 71 Fed. Reg. 27,585, 27,586 n.1 (May 12, 2006) (“[A] decision authorizingadvance parole does not preclude denying parole when the alien actually arrives at aport­of­entry, should DHS determine that parole is no longer warranted.”). A grant ofadvance parole before the alien’s trip abroad simply provides him with a practicalexpectation that, so long as circumstances do not meaningfully change and the DHSdoes not discover material information that was previously unavailable, the DHS’sdiscretion to parole him at the time of his return to a port of entry will likely be exercisedfavorably.”71 Fed. Reg. 27,585, 27,586 n.1 (May 12, 2006) reads as follows:FN1 ‘‘Advance parole’’ is the determination of an appropriate DHS officer that DHSshould agree to the exercise of the parole authority under section 212(d)(5)(A) of the Actbefore the alien’s actual arrival at a port­of­entry. The actual decision to parole, however,is made at the port­of­entry. Since any grant of parole may be revoked, 8 CFR 212.5(e),a decision authorizing advance parole does not preclude denying parole when the alienactually arrives at a port­of­entry, should DHS determine that parole is no longerwarranted. One long­standing use of advance parole has been to provide a means forapplicants for adjustment of status to be able to leave the country briefly and returnwithout abandoning their applications for adjustment. In general, an alien’s departure fromthe United States while an application for relief is pending has the effect of automaticallywithdrawing the application, but aliens who are granted advance permission to be paroled
  3. 3. into the United States upon their return are still able to pursue their previously filedapplication after they return. 50 FR 23959 (June 7, 1985). If their application foradjustment of status was denied, those aliens would have been subject to exclusion, asopposed to deportation, proceedings. Id. Accordingly, in order to preserve the ability ofsuch aliens to pursue their previously filed applications for adjustment of status, theregulations allowed aliens in this very narrow situation to be able to renew an applicationfor adjustment of status before an immigration judge in exclusion proceedings. See 51FR 7431 (March 4, 1986); 8 CFR 245.2(a).While TPS may lead to an opportunity to obtain advance parole andsubsequent “parole” such that EWI (entry without inspection) may becured, TPS alone does not cure the EWI status. I disagree with the SixthCircuit’s analysis in Flores, et al. v. USCIS, et al., Supra, at least in thefollowing excerpt:“The Suazos, however, argue that the plain language, when considering the“language itself, the specific context in which the language is used, and the broadercontext of the statute as a whole,” shows that Congress’s clear intent was that a TPSbeneficiary is afforded with a pathway to LPR status. The Suazos agree that one must be“admitted” or “admissible.” However, they argue that TPS beneficiaries are afforded withan exception under the TPS statute which operates as an inadmissibility waiver. See §1254a(f). We agree.In this case, Mr. Suazo seeks to adjust his status to that of LPR. Section 1255 ofTitle 8 of the U.S. Code authorizes the Attorney General to adjust thestatus of an alien who was inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States . . . if (1) thealien makes an application for such adjustment, (2) the alien is eligible to receive an immigrantvisa and is admissible to the United States for permanent residence, and (3) an immigrant visais immediately available to him at the time his application is filed.8 U.S.C. § 1255(a).FN2 Additionally, aliens other than immediate relatives, among someother categories, are barred from becoming LPRs if theycontinue[] in or accept[] unauthorized employment prior to filing an application for adjustment ofstatus or . . . fail[] (other than through no fault of [their] own or for technical reasons) to maintaincontinuously a lawful status since entry into the United States . . . .Id. at § 1255(c)(2).As the Ninth Circuit found in Kazarian and again upholding the DistrictJudge in Rijal, the failure to meet the antecedent proceduralquestion rightfully ends the the analysis. Anything the beyond that is awasted effort. I think a rehearing by the en banc court would overturnthis decision if USCIS pursues that course.That’s my two-cents for now.e-mail me at: joseph.whalen774@gmail.com

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