2010/07/12 -- CBP Liaison Meeting

Q: If appears that conditional resident whose I-751 or I-829 is still pending, and whom only possesses 1-year ADIT stamps to evidence his CPR status, is routinely placed in secondary inspection for further verification of the same before being admitted. This procedure appears to be unfair in that it is USCIS' delay that is keeping their petitions for the removal of conditions from being adjudicated. What is the reason behind the need for these individuals to be sent to secondary, thereby delaying the admission process, and is there a different policy or entry procedure that is being applied to aliens with 1-year stamps in their passports?

CBP Response: ADIT stamps do not possess the security features found in the actual Permanent Resident Card and are therefore vulnerable to misuse by aliens attempting to gain admission by fraud. The primary officer frequently cannot verify the authority of the stamp or the bona-fides of the alien presenting the stamp. In such cases, the alien will be referred to secondary.

Q: In conjunction with the prior question, if an alien with a pending I-751 or I-829 does not possess a 1-year ADIT stamp evidencing his or her CPR status, what is CBP's procedure/policy regarding the individuals' request to be readmitted to the United States, and what forms of proof are acceptable in such circumstances?

CBP Response: An alien applying for admission as a returning conditional lawful permanent resident must present one of the entry documents listed in 8 CFR 211.1(a). Absent one of these documents, this alien would be inadmissible as an immigrant without a valid immigrant visa. This documentary deficiency may be resolved by a waiver under section 211(b), INA and 8 CFR 211.1(b)(1), provided that the alien proves to the satisfaction of the inspecting officer that he is otherwise admissible as a returning conditional lawful permanent resident. There is no standard list of acceptable forms of proof in such circumstances. A decision on what constitutes acceptable forms of proof would be made on a case-by-case basis and could vary depending upon the relevant factors of each particular case.

Q: Under INA Seciton 101(a)(13)(C), an LPR "shall not be regarded as seeking an admission into the U.S. for purposes of the immigration laws unless" s/he falls under a specified subcategory of that statute. This question deals with an LPR who returns from a trip abroad with an old conviction:

a. Once the applicant provides a certified court disposition, does the inspector have the authority to continue to withhold the LPR's green card? For example, could an inspector withhold the I-551 because he or she believes that the certified court disposition is vague or otherwise fails to provide incriminating evidence needed for an NTA?

b. Does CBP have a policy regarding how long an inspector may continue to ask for additional documents beyond the certified court disposition?

c. An inspector who takes an LPR's green card effectively denies the LPR the right to freely travel. What policy does CBP have regarding how long an Inspector may continue to hold the card?

CBP Response: This question discusses "the authority to continue to withhold the LPR's green card" but does not specify if the card has been retained as a result of a Deferred Inspection or initiation of Section 240 Removal Proceedings. The aliens under discussion have criminal records and are potentially inadmissible under section 212(a)(2), INA. In either case, CBP policy is to retain the alien's Permanent Resident Card, if one was in his/her possession. When this card is retained, CBP policy is to issue the alien a temporary Form I-551 on an arrival Form I-94 as prescribed by 8 CFR 264.5(g). This document will allow an LPR to enter the United States after a trip abroad.

Certified court documents are generally required before a final determination of admissibility can be made. Once these documents have been received and the officer has verified that no additional documents are forthcoming, the documents will be reviewed and a determination will be made as to the next step.

This is no set time limit for this process. Times will vary depending upon the responsiveness of the relevant court(s) to requests from CBP, the age of the convictions and various other factors. If an alien or his/her attorney believes that this process is taking too long, s/he may raise this issue to the appropriate management official at the port of entry. For section 240 removal cases initiated at LAX and for cases deferred to the Los Angeles Deferred Inspections Office from LAX or from other ports of entry, the Passport Control Section Chief is the appropriate official.