The Seventh Circuit, interpreting 8 C.F.R. § 212.5(c) and INA § 212(d)(5)(A) in this case, found that when the government chooses to terminate a person’s advance parole, it must place that person back into the same status he occupied before receiving the advance parole grant. Dr. Samirah, the court held, should be permitted to return to the United States to pursue his green card application after the government revoked his advance parole and barred him from re-entering the country. The court criticized the U.S. Attorney General for breaking its own rules.
Dr. Samirah was a prominent Muslim community leader who led an organization that engaged in voter registration and community education and had lived in the United States for 15 years. While his application for residency was pending, he obtained “advance parole,” allowing him to travel abroad to visit his ailing mother. While Samirah was outside the country, the government revoked his travel permit based upon the unexplained statement that he was a "security risk." The government refused to permit Samirah to return to the United States or to contest his exclusion. Dr. Samirah was forced to return to his native Jordan, leaving behind his wife and children in the United States. Because Dr. Samirah had not yet reentered the United States when the government decided to revoke the advance parole, he was denied the opportunity to present his case before an immigration judge.
Dr. Samirah was represented by Mark A. Flessner of Sonnenschein, Nath, and Rosenthal, and Charles Roth of the National Immigrant Justice Center.