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Immigration Law

CA2 on False Claim, 'Purpose or Benefit' - Richmond v. Holder (UPDATED)

"Petitioner Keon Richmond, a native and citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, remained in the United States beyond the term of the tourist visa which allowed his initial entry here in May 2001. When removal proceedings were brought against him, Richmond conceded removability but sought an adjustment of status—and thereby relief from removal—on the basis of his marriage to a United States citizen. The immigration judge and, subsequently, the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) found Richmond ineligible for adjustment of status because, while incarcerated some years earlier, Richmond had lied to Department of Homeland Security officers about his citizenship status. This lie, the BIA held, was made in order to avoid being placed in removal proceedings. As such, according to the immigration judge and the BIA, it triggered the inadmissibility provision of Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) § 212(a)(6)(C)(ii)(I), which bars “[a]ny alien who falsely represents . . . himself or herself to be a citizen of the United States for any purpose or benefit under the Immigration and Nationality] Act . . . or any other Federal or State law.” 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(C)(ii)(I). Neither the BIA nor this Court has previously issued a precedential opinion defining what counts as a “purpose or benefit” under federal or state law. We therefore vacate the BIA’s decision in this case and remand so that the BIA may determine in the first instance the scope of conduct encompassed by § 212(a)(6)(C)(ii)(I)." - Richmond v. Holder, Apr. 30, 2013.  [Hats off to Ryan Muennich!]  [UPDATE: Thanks to Ben Winograd and IRAC for the link to the underlying BIA decision.]