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Acosta v. Gonzales

After marrying a United States citizen, Mr. Acosta filed an application for permanent residence.  The USCIS denied his application because Mr. Acosta had traveled to Mexico to visit a sick family member and then illegally entered the United States.  Mr. Acosta filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit arguing that his application for permanent residence should be approved in spite of his checkered immigration history because he had paid a $1,000 penalty for having violated the immigration rules.  The Ninth Circuit ruled in Mr. Acosta’s favor thus paving the way for thousands others to seek permanent residence.