Garcia v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 11-02-2011
  • Case #: 08-73004
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Judge Gould for the Court; Circuit Judge Schroeder and District Judge Seeborg
  • Full Text Opinion

Immigrants paroled into the United States as a "Special Immigrant Juvenile, under 8 U.S.C. § 1255(h), qualif[y] as [admitted] ‘in any status’ for the purposes of 8 U.S.C. § 1229(a)(2)."

Garcia became a dependent child of the California courts in 1994. The court determined it was not in his best interests to return to Mexico, and directed the Department of Child and Family Services ("DCFS") to file an immigrant application on his behalf. DCFS entered an I-360 special immigrant petition and an I-485 application to adjust permanent resident status based on Garcia’s Special Immigrant Juvenile Status ("SIJS"). Immigration authorities approved the application in February 2000. Following two theft convictions in 2005, authorities began removal proceedings under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(ii). Garcia admitted removability and sought cancellation of removal. A legal permanent resident is eligible for cancellation if, inter alia, he “has resided in the United States continuously for 7 years after having been admitted in any status.” 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a). DHS opposed Garcia’s cancellation because the department did not approve his immigration status until February 2000, leaving him short of the requisite seven years. Garcia argued that, “under § 1255(h), he was [] paroled into the United States—which counted as an admission ‘in any status’ under § 1229b(a)(2)—upon the filing of his [SIJS]-based immigration application in 1994.” The Court determined Garcia to be admitted “in any status” by including SIJS parolees under § 1255(h), and noted that Congress did not specifically preclude SIJS parolees in § 1182(d)(5). PETITION GRANTED.

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