Reforming the Immigration and Nationality Act: Labor Certification, Adjustment of Status, the Reach of Deportation, and Entry by Fraud

This Article will consider some of the controversial sections of the INA and the impact of the pending immigration legislation. Part I considers the labor certification requirement, a prerequisite for third and sixth preference immigrants. This Part concludes that clarification of the division of authority between the Attorney General and the Secretary of Labor, and of the intent of aliens to keep their certified jobs, would be desirable. Part II analyzes the requirements an alien must meet to adjust status to one, of the occupational preferences. The statutory refusal to adjust status of aliens who accept ”unauthorized employment” must be clarified. Part III discusses two doctrines which extend the time the INS has to investigate and act on mistakes of entering aliens – the lack of a statute of limitations and the reentry doctrine – and suggests methods of altering deportation procedures to provide fairness to the alien. Part IV focuses on the provision excluding aliens for fraud during entry and illustrates how courts have interpreted ambiguous language in the absence of clear legislative direction.

Finally, this Article concludes that current movement toward immigration reform should not ignore these legal ambiguities. A law with such a long and varied history as the INA inevitably contains some ambiguities and inconsistencies, and it is up to the legislature, to correct them when the opportunity presents itself.