What if he was a foreigner?

Monday, September 6th, 2010
By: Jonathan MontagJ.D.

Edward M. Mezvinsky

Edward M. Mezvinsky, a former U.S. Congressman from Iowa and current father-in-law of Chelsea Clinton, pled guilty on September 30, 2002, to multiple counts of bank fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1344), mail fraud (18. U.S.C. § 1341), false statements to a financial institution (18 U.S.C. § 1014), and wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343), among other crimes. He was sentenced to 80 months confinement and ordered to pay $9,399,354.47 in restitution on January 9, 2003.

Crimes that involve fraud or deceit for which the loss to the victim or victims exceeds $10,000 are aggravated felonies. INA § 101(a)(43)(M). If Mr. Mezvinsky were a permanent resident, he would be deportable as an aggravated felon and ineligible for the standard relief from deportation for permanent residents, Cancellation of Removal, INA § 240A(a). He would also be inadmissible to the United States as fraud offenses are crimes of moral turpitude, which render aliens inadmissible. INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I). As an aggravated felon and, assuming he were a permanent resident, he would also be ineligible for INA § 212(h) relief. Were he undocumented and entered the United States after being admitted, i.e., had not snuck in, he could conceivably seek adjustment of status through an adult U.S. citizen son or daughter or U.S. citizen spouse with a 212(h) fraud waiver. However, Mr. Mezvinsky is divorced. Perhaps a waiver would be looked on favorably as Mr. Mezvinsky was apparently hoodwinked by Nigerian con men. On the other hand, 9,399,354.47 is a lot of money. This is one of those anomalous situations where it is better to be undocumented than to be a permanent resident.

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