Special Registration: Case Examples

1. On January 9, a citizen of Liberia who was born in Liberia to Lebanese/Liberian parents was placed in removal proceedings. He was granted TPS as a Liberian, and has been awaiting action on labor certification application filed nearly two years ago and still pending under 245(i). He entered the U.S. on a Lebanese passport (legally obtained in Liberia), but has never been to Lebanon. He's is the manager of a restaurant; his wife (also a TPS holder) and 4 children (including a U.S. citizen) are here.

2. An Eritrean citizen who had applied for asylum (after the special registration cutoff date) appeared to register a few days before he was due to receive a decision on the asylum application. He was detained for four days, required to pay a bond of $5,000, and placed in removal proceedings.

3. An F-1 student who arrived in the U.S. too late to register for classes was advised by the school's foreign student advisor to wait for next semester to register, but has been attending classes full time. When he appeared for special registration, he was handcuffed and removal proceedings were initiated against him.

4. A university student who was one day late for the December deadline because of final examinations was placed in removal proceedings.

5. A Tunisian citizen who holds a valid visa (which had been extended), and has a green card application pending, was detained for three days because the INS did not accept the documentation of his extension.

6. A Moroccan student married to a U.S. citizen was issued a Notice to Appear (the document that initiates removal proceedings), but the Notice has not yet been filed with the immigration court. The INS office has refused to accept the student's green card application, even though it has discretionary authority to do so, but the court does not have jurisdiction over the application because the INS has not filed the NTA. As a result, the student is in limbo, unable to pursue any remedy.

7. A Norwegian citizen, born in Iran, who is awaiting INS action on his application for permanent residence, was taken into custody after special registration and told he'd be deported in 2 days, even though the interview on his permanent residence application was scheduled for January. INS maintains that it can immediately deport him without a hearing because he entered under the visa waiver program. He was detained in San Pedro, in segregation, in a wheel chair, because he has a bad back.

8. An Iranian-born naturalized Danish citizen with a US citizen mother, and an approved petition for permanent residence, was detained and denied bond. He will be eligible to make the final application for permanent residence in January, but has been informed that he will be summarily removed without hearing because he entered under the Visa Waiver Program.

9. An individual who is eligible for V status (a status based on marriage to a U.S. permanent resident) and awaiting INS action on his application was placed in removal proceedings when he went to register.

Compiled by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 04031065.