Peters v. Barr, No. 16-73509 (9th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
An applicant cannot be regarded as personally responsible for failing to maintain lawful status when that failure occurs due to a mistake on her lawyer's part. An applicant who relies on the assistance of counsel to maintain lawful status will usually have no basis to question the soundness of the advice she receives from her lawyer.
The Ninth Circuit granted the petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's denial of petitioner's application for adjustment of status on the ground that she is ineligible for relief under 8 U.S.C. 1255(c)(2). The panel held that, although substantial evidence supported the IJ's finding that petitioner's attorney never filed a corrected I-129, petitioner reasonably relied on her attorney's assurances that he had filed the corrected I-129 petition necessary to maintain her lawful immigration status, and she remains eligible for adjustment of status because her failure to maintain lawful status continuously since entering the United States occurred through no fault of her own. The panel remanded for consideration of the IJ's alternative ground for denial of relief.