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U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Patel v. Garland et. al: How One Mistakenly Checked Box Can Lead to Deportation

Through a decision in the Patel v. Garland, et. al. lawsuit, on May 16, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court found that federal courts were prohibited from reviewing factual determinations made by immigration court judges- even if they were wrong.

In the case of Patel, he qualified for adjustment of status based on his marriage to a U.S. Citizen; however, he was found inadmissible for adjustment of status due to a Driver’s License Application he completed wherein he checked off a box that stated he was a U.S. Citizen. He alleged this was purely a mistake and argued that he gained nothing out of checking this box. As an applicant for adjustment of status with an EAD, he was eligible for a Driver’s License under Georgia law without being a U.S. Citizen. Nonetheless, Patel was placed in removal proceedings and both the Judge and the BIA found he had made a false claim by checking off the box on purpose. Later, he appealed to the 11th Circuit Court (Federal Court); however, they took the position that they lacked jurisdiction to review the determination by the Judge and the BIA.

This case outlines the importance of assessing the consequence of EVERY question you are asked in any application when you are an immigrant or intending immigrant.