- Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Immigration
- Date Filed: 01-21-2014
- Case #: 10-71322
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Cowen for the Court; Circuit Judge O’Scannlain; Concurrence by Circuit Judge Berzon
- Full Text Opinion
Juana Negrete-Ramirez entered the United States on a visitor visa. Afterwards, she “adjusted her status to that of a lawful permanent resident.” Later, she “pleaded nolo contendre to two counts of committing a lewd act upon a child.” As a result, she was charged with “being inadmissible…as an alien convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.” Negrete-Ramirez applied for a waiver for inadmissibility under the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) § 212(h). An Immigration Judge (“IJ”) found her ineligible for a § 212(h) waiver. Negrete-Ramirez appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals, which affirmed the IJ’s decision. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit noted that “an alien who has previously been admitted to the United States as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence” is not eligible for a waiver under § 212(h). The panel noted that the INA defined “admitted” as “the lawful entry of the alien into the United States after inspection and authorization by an immigration officer…. (emphasis added).” The panel also noted that the INA found that an alien was “lawfully admitted for permanent residence” when the alien has “been lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant….” Given these two definitions and traditional statutory construction, the panel concluded that the bar for seeking a waiver for inadmissibility under § 212(h) “does not apply to persons who adjusted to lawful permanent resident status after having entered into the United States by inspection.” Since Negrete-Ramirez adjusted her status to being a lawful permanent resident after entering the United States by inspection, the bar to the § 212(h) waiver does not apply to her. PETITION FOR REVIEW GRANTED. REMANDED.