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Matter of E.W. Rodriguez

Three circuit courts, the Fourth, Fifth, and Eleventh, have held that the unambiguous language of section 212(h) mandates that conviction of an aggravated felony only disqualifies a permanent resident from a 212(h) waiver if the conviction occurs after admission of the alien as a permanent resident after inspection at a port of entry. In this decision, the Board decided to follow that precedent only within the jurisdiction of those courts. In other circuits, the Board will adhere to its previous decision in Matter of Koljenovic, 25 I&N Dec. 219 (BIA 2010), which held that an alien who enters without inspection and then adjusts status has “previously been admitted to the United States as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence” for purposes of the 212(h) aggravated felony bar.