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U.S. v. Jose Luis Hernandez-Arias

The Ninth Circuit assumed without deciding that a grant of temporary resident status pursuant to the legalization provision at INA 245A amounted to an "admission." It held, however, that a termination of the temporary resident status (in this case for convictions) returns an alien to the unlawful status held before the grant of temporary resident status. 8 C.F.R. § 245a.2(u)(4). In this case, Hernandez-Arias previously held the status of an alien present without admission or parole. The court held the termination thus returned him to an unadmitted status, which made him vulnerable to removal for being present without admission or parole.

The court rejected Hernandez-Arias' argument that this return to an unadmitted status would result in a "rescission," which the regulations say is not required for termination of status and which did not occur in his case. The court distinguished a rescission from a termination. Using divorce and annulment as a comparison, it held rescission would result in him never having had temporary resident status and deprive him of any benefits of having had that status. Termination simply ends the status and returns him to the status he had before.

As an alien not admitted or paroled (and apparently not eligible for 245(i) adjustment), the court held Hernandez-Arias was not eligible for a 212(h) waiver of inadmissibility for his criminal convictions. It held he therefore was not prejudiced by the failure of the immigration judge in the removal proceedings to advise him of potential eligibility for 212(h). It therefore upheld his conviction in this case for illegal reentry after removal.

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