Entry Under Fraudulent Passport Stamp Not Lawful Entry

Federal case law summary: Immigration.

Mozdzen v. Holder. Immigration, lawful entry.

In 1999, aliens obtained in their passport purported I 551 stamp, indicating legal permanent residency. In reality, the stamp was placed by an undercover agent, posing as a corrupt immigration official, as part of a "sting" operation. Aliens subsequently re entered the United States on the basis of that stamp. DHS subsequently commenced removal proceedings, and Immigration Judge found aliens to be removable, because they were inadmissible at the time they entered the country. The Immigration Judge made no finding as to whether they had affirmatively engaged in fraud.

The Seventh Circuit denied aliens petition for review, holding that the entry under the fraudulent stamp was not a "lawful entry". Therefore, it was unnecessary to resolve any other issues, since those issues were premised upon a lawful entry.

No. 09 3017, 622 F.3d 680 (7th Cir. Sept. 7, 2010).

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

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