No”Family Member” Smuggling Waiver Allowed for Future Husband

January 20, 2005

The Ninth Circuit in Moran v. Ashcroft ruled that a Mexican national who encouraged his wife and son to enter the U.S. was not eligible for the “family member” smuggling waiver under the Immigration and Nationality Act because he was not married to his wife at the time he smuggled her into the U.S.

Circuit Judge Betty Fletcher writes in her concurring opinion: “This case is but one example of the harsh effects and unintended consequences current immigration laws visit upon immigrant families. Punishing Martin Moran for endeavoring to bring his family together could hardly be more antithetical to Congress’s stated goal of promoting family unification in immigration law. To say that Moran’s efforts to be with his son and his son’s mother reflect a lack of “good moral character” grossly distorts the meaning of that term, and is with a heavy heart that I apply this statutory classification today. That the denial of Moran’s petition is required by the law does not make this result – or this law – just.”

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