On January 2, 2009, a 67-year-old Jamaican native, citizen of Canada, and lawful permanent resident of the United States (“Jane”)* attempted to cross the US/Canada border at the Detroit Ambassador Bridge with two undocumented Canadian nationals (“Paul” and “Sally”). The border patrol seized Jane, and after a lengthy interrogation, charged her with alien smuggling. Specifically, the government alleged that on August 13, 2010, Jane “knowingly encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided Paul and Sally enter or try to enter the United States in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) Sec. 212. [8 U.S.C. 1182](a)(6)(E). In June of 2011, the court commenced removal proceedings against Jane after she admitted to the first four claims that were filed against her.
When required by the court to designate a home country, Jane did not comply, which forced the court to designate Canada as first choice and Jamaica as the second choice. In a hearing in 2016, Jane made it clear that she would seek voluntary departure if the charges of removal against her were sustained. The court set Jane's individual calendar hearing for the summer of 2018.
Over the course of proceedings, six (6) exhibits that were recorded as evidence. These included:
Jane’s Notice To Appear (NTA)
The government’s Proposed Exhibits
The government’s Witness List
Jane’s Witness List
Jane’s Proposed Exhibits
The Paul and Sally’s purchase agreement for a home in Canada
In 2018, Jane’s testimony included her admission to being born in Jamaica in 1950 and migrating to Canada in 1972. Jane told the court that she was granted a Canadian Nationality in 1979. Jane further testified that she has lived in Georgia since 2010 with multiple visits to and from the United States even before that. The immigration judge noted that Jane did not have a criminal record in the United States or Canada.
Jane maintained she met Paul and Sally when they offered to help her shift her belongings from Canada to the United States. Jane said that she was made to believe that Paul and Sally mainly lived in Canada with a vacation home in the United States that they have frequently used for over more than thirty years. Jane did not know how long Paul and Sally were looking to stay in the United States and could not say whether they were looking to permanently migrate or not. Jane clarified that Sally told her about the recent purchase of Canadian property that she and Paul made. Moreover, because Paul and Sally did not have green cards, Jane assumed they would eventually move back to Canada.
After evaluating all the evidence and hearing the witness accounts as well as the testimonies of the concerned parties, the court ruled that Sally’s explanation about their intent to migrate to the United States permanently only after they had received their green cards was sufficiently compelling. In conclusion, the court ruled the Jane was not guilty of the charges filed against her and regarded her as a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United Stated of America and deemed it the burden of the government to provide evidence of its claims of alien smuggling made against Jane, which the government failed to meet. Finally, the charges of removability against Jane were not sustained and Jane was free to go.
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* Family-Based Visas;
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* Our client and her witnesses’ names are changed to protect our client’s confidentiality.