Othi v. Holder, Jr., No. 12-2316 (4th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Petitioner, a native and citizen of India, petitioned for review of the BIA's order affirming the IJ's order of removal. Petitioner, a lawful permanent resident (LPR), was deemed an inadmissible arriving alien upon his return from a 17-day overseas trip. At issue was whether 8 U.S.C. 1101, as amended by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), still allowed for the case-by-case analysis of an alien's intent under Rosenberg v. Fleuti when determining whether the alien was "seeking an admission" for purposes of removal proceedings. Under Fleuti, LPRs were permitted to take "innocent, casual, and brief" trips abroad without having to seek readmission. The court joined its sister circuits and held that, based on the plain text of the statute, the Fleuti doctrine did not survive IIRIRA's enactment. Accordingly, upon petitioner's entry into the country from India, he was "seeking admission into the United States" and was subject to removal because of his criminal history. The court reached the same result pursuant to principles of administrative deference under Chevron. The court rejected petitioner's remaining claims and denied the petition for review.