The Matter of Dingus in the U.S Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review:
Murray Osorio PLLC is pleased to announce our latest victory in federal court. When our United Kingdom-based client was deemed inadmissible to the United States over a prior drug conviction, Partner Benjamin Osorio appealed the decision under nunc pro tunc rules. Nunc pro tunc means that a ruling or correction can apply retroactively to an earlier ruling.
In short, our client was never convicted of a federal drug crime, so she remains admissible for entry into the United States. We proved this fact in front of the U.S Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review and Board of Immigration Appeals and received a unanimous decision in our client’s favor.
Our client was admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident in 2012. In 2017, she was arrested on charges of distributing oxycodone. Ultimately, our client was convicted of 5 counts of distribution of a controlled substance. In her plea deal, our client pled guilty to distributing a controlled substance, but she did not specify which substance she distributed.
In 2019, the court revised our client’s plea nunc pro tunc, specifying that she distributed salvinorin A, the active ingredient in the psychotropic drug, salvia. Although salvinorin A is a controlled substance in the state of Virginia, where our client was charged, the drug is not illegal at the federal level.
Once her plea was revised, our client sought to reenter the United States. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) denied her request, “alleging that her conviction was an offense identified in section 212(a)(2) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2), that rendered her subject to the exception to the general admissibility of lawful permanent residents pursuant to section 101(a)(13)(C)(v) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(13)(C)(v) (2018).”
The Appellate Court’s Decision
Because salvinorin A is not mentioned in the United States Code (U.S.C.), however, the sections DHS cited were not relevant to her case. Our client reminded DHS of the nunc pro tunc correction and requested a waiver of inadmissibility, but DHS disregarded her request once again.
After the original Immigration Judge denied her request, our client sought an appeal with the assistance of Benjamin Osorio and Murray Osorio PLLC. Due to the relevant laws and legal precedents, both Appellate Immigration Judges granted her appeal.
The Appellate Immigration Judges rendered our client’s original conviction “invalid for immigration purposes.” Our client was never convicted of distributing a federally controlled substance, so her case was returned to the lower immigration court.
The waiver denial has been vacated, and given the details of our client’s case, the original Immigration Judge will need to grant her waiver – and her re-entry into the United States.
Need Help with an Appeal?
Whether you are facing deportation or problems with reentry because of criminal charges, need to contest asylum decisions, or have suffered unreasonable delays in your immigration case, our firm can help.
We handle federal litigation and appeals for people from all walks of life, and we have enjoyed notable immigration successes – from Cabrera Diaz v. Hott to our most recent case, the Matter of Dingus.
No matter what you’re up against, you will be matched with the team who is best suited to your individual case, and we will take the time to understand and advocate for you and all your needs.
For an honest and detailed case assessment, please call us at (800) 929-7142 or send us a message online.