WISSAM SUCCAR V. JOHN ASHCROFT (1st Cir. 2005)
For more than seven years, arriving aliens who were paroled into the United States and put into removal proceedings have been denied adjustment of status due to a regulation that we believed was in contradiction with the statute. The statute declared that aliens paroled into the United States can adjust their status. However, in 1997, the Attorney General enacted a regulation stating that these same aliens in removal proceedings were not eligible for adjustment of status, thus barring thousands of immigrants from legally adjusting their status.
After a lengthy and complicated appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, the court agreed with the argument we made and permitted Mr. Succar (and all other aliens in a similar situation) to adjust status. The decision had sweeping implications and affected parolees such as Mr. Succar, but also other individuals immediately eligible for immigrant visas, such as family-sponsored immigrant visas, employment-based immigrant visas, and diversity immigrant visas.
At the time of the decision, the Court's ruling only applied to the New England states and Puerto Rico. However, following the First Circuit's decision, the remaining circuits split on the issue of whether parolees in removal proceedings were able to adjust status. The Eleventh, Ninth, and Third Circuit courts agreed with the First Circuit Court's decision and reasoning.
In order to avoid a complete split in the circuits, on May 12, 2006, the Attorney General amended the disputed regulation in favor of the Succar Court's decision. The Attorney General ultimately changed his position and repealed the former bar that prohibited parolees from adjusting status if they were otherwise eligible for the benefit.
Chedad v. Mukasey (1st Cir. 2008)
Chedad resolved the conflict between filing a motion to reopen despite earlier acceptance of voluntary departure. The First Circuit denied the case on July 31, 2007; however, Mr. Macarius and Attorney Audrey Botros filed for en banc review. The First Circuit delayed its decision on en banc review until the decision came down favorably in Dada v. Mukasey (U.S. 2008). Mr. Macarius wrote an amicus brief in Dada in conjunction with Professor Michael F. Sturley of the University of Texas. The First Circuit reversed its original decision in Chedad on December 16, 2008, agreeing with the argument that filing a motion to reopen incorporates a withdrawal of voluntary departure.
Da Silva Neves v. Holder, 613 F. 3d 30, 33 (1st Cir. 2010) successfully challenged the First Circuit courts denial of jurisdiction to hear his case. Attorney Macarius and Attorney Botros filed a Writ of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court who remanded the case to the First Circuit Court of Appeals for further proceedings. This case has been cited as legal precedent in the reknown immigration legal resource, Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook. This case was also recently cited in Supreme Court case Mata v. Lynch, 576 U.S. ___ (2015) finding that the court has jurisdiction to hear the appeal. After many years of challenging the immigration system, Mr. Neves successfully was granted permanent residence.
Note: There were numerous favorable outcomes on many other cases as a result of the government agreeing to settle to satisfactory resolution for our clients’ claims in the Circuit Courts. Therefore, those cases are not published.
Macarius v. American Airlines, Framingham Dist. Court, 1449 sc 1270 (2015). Attorney Botros and Macarius successfully litigated against the corporate giant, American Airlines, for their failure to adhere to their systemwide upgrade program offered to Executive Platinum members. The court found that the Defendant had breached its contract by failing to follow their self imposed regulations and the preemption clause does not shelter airlines from suits alleging no violation of state imposed obligations. The court found that the Plaintiff reasonably relied on representations made by the Airlines Platinum program to his detriment and was entitled to recovery for misrepresentations and breach of contract. The Plaintiff was awarded damages accordingly.