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Moss v. INS

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
651 F.2d 1091 (5th Cir. 1981)


Juanita de los Santos Moss (petitioner) was a citizen of the Philippines. Moss was admitted into the U.S. under a “K visa” as a nonimmigrant alien fiancée of a United States citizen, as provided by § 101(a)(15)(K) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The statute (then § 214(d)) provided that a petition for a fiancée shall be approved only if the petitioners show that they have a bona fide intention to marry and are able and willing to marry in the United States within three months (90 days) of entry. Moss and her fiancé lived together for a year in the Philippines and it was undisputed that they intended to marry in the United States. Moss finally married her fiancé 92 days after her entry into the United States. They had a child, however, two months before the birth, Moss’ husband abandoned her. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) issued an order to show cause to establish Moss’ deportability. Moss contended that she was not subject to deportation because although she had married 92 days after her entry, she had substantially complied with then § 214(d). The Immigration Judge interpreted the 90-day requirement as a rigid and mandatory time period within which the marriage must occur, and found Moss deportable. The Board of Immigration Appeals upheld the decision of the Immigration Judge. Moss appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Garza, J.)

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