When foreign nationals seek entry into the United States, they must satisfy the legal requirements set out in the Immigration and Naturalization Act ("INA"). Among many things, the INA establishes various standards and requirements for those seeking to enter the U.S. These establish the conditions under which a foreign national is "admissible" or "inadmissible" into the U.S. Under the INA, the issue of admissibility can be raised by a consulate officer, the border patrol, or the immigration services.
An example of behavior that can be the basis of inadmissibility is prostitution. This is pursuant to INA's section 212(a)(2)(D)(i). This statutory provision makes a person inadmissible who "is coming to the United States solely, principally, or incidentally to engage in prostitution, or has engaged in prostitution within 10 years of the date of application for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status." See Kepilino v. Gonzalez, 454 F.3d 1057 (9th Cir. 2006). Not only is prostitution grounds for inadmissibility, but it can also be used as grounds for removal.
Foreign nationals seeking entry -- or in-country aliens seeking to prevent deportation -- should be aware that satisfying the requirements of section 212(a)(2)(D)(i) by the government can be difficult. As discussed more fully in the Kepilno case linked above, the government must show a PATTERN of prostitution. This is because immigration regulations define prostitution as "engaging in promiscuous sexual intercourse for hire." Moreover, where a conviction for prostitution exists, such conviction cannot be the basis for removal if the criminal statute is broader than how section 212(a)(2)(D)(i) defines prostitution. In Kepilino, the alien seeking to prevent removal was successful since the government did not prove a pattern, and the statute in question criminalized sex-related conduct that was broader than the above definition.
In addition, even if allegations of prostitution have some merit, the immigration services provide several waivers for prostitution. Nonimmigrants may apply for a 212(d)(3) waiver. These waivers are available pursuant to section 212(d)(3) of the INA and the immigration services to waive almost every ground of inadmissibility for aliens seeking to enter the U.S. on a temporary basis. The only grounds that cannot be waived involve terrorism, espionage, and related crimes. For those seeking resident status, Form I-601 ("Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility") can be filed seeking a waiver of inadmissibility based on claims of prostitution.
The point is that even if there is an allegation of prostitution, those seeking entry or seeking to prevent deportation should not give up. The best response is to seek legal advice and counsel from experienced immigration attorneys like the ones at Yekrangi & Associates. Contact us at (949) 478-4963 to schedule a consultation. We are located in Irvine, California. We can evaluate whether the allegations of prostitution fit the legal definitions.
Contact Yekrangi & Associates Today
For more information, contact the Orange County Immigration Attorneys at Yekrangi & Associates today. You are not alone, and we will fight for you. Yekrangi & Associates works to meet a higher standard. Our first goal is your satisfaction. Contact us at (949) 478-4963 to schedule a consultation or complete our convenient “Get Your Consultation” form here. We are located in Irvine, California.