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Dimova v. Holder, Jr., 1st Cir. (2015)

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    United States Court of AppealsFor the First Circuit

    Nos. 13- 155013- 2013

    MI LENA BOGDANOVA DI MOVA,

    Pet i t i oner ,

    v.

    ERI C H. HOLDER J R. , At t orney General ,

    Respondent .

    PETI TI ONS FOR REVI EW OF AN ORDEROF THE BOARD OF I MMI GRATI ON APPEALS

    Bef or e

    Tor r uel l a, Thompson, and Kayat t a,Ci r cui t J udges.

    Cr ai g R. Shagi n, wi t h whom Rakhee Vemul apal l i was on br i ef ,f or pet i t i oner .

    Yedi dya Cohen, Tr i al At t or ney, Of f i ce of I mmi grat i onLi t i gat i on, wi t h whomSt uar t F. Del er y, Assi st ant At t or ney Gener al ,Ci vi l Di vi si on, and Davi d V. Ber nal , Assi st ant Di r ector , Of f i ce ofI mmi gr at i on Li t i gat i on, wer e on br i ef , f or r espondent .

    Apr i l 3, 2015

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    THOMPSON, Circuit Judge. Somet i mes one i l l - consi der ed

    deci s i on i s al l i t t akes. Unf or t unat el y, t hi s i s so f or our

    pet i t i oner , Mi l ena Di mova ( "Di mova" ) . Di mova seeks r evi ew of a

    deci si on f r omt he Boar d of I mmi gr at i on Appeal s ( "BI A" ) f i ndi ng her

    r emovabl e under t he al i en smuggl i ng pr ovi si ons of t he I mmi gr at i on

    and Nat i onal i t y Act , and or der i ng her r emoved t o her nat i ve

    Bul gar i a. Al t hough t he r ecor d i ndi cat es Di mova was put i n a ver y

    di f f i cul t posi t i on by someone she t r ust ed, i t al so l eaves no doubt

    t hat she never t hel ess knowi ngl y and vol unt ar i l y assi st ed her

    f r i ends as t hey at t empt ed t o cr oss i l l egal l y f r om Canada i nt o t he

    Uni t ed St at es. We must , t her ef or e, deny Di mova' s pet i t i on f or

    r evi ew.

    I. BACKGROUND

    The f act s ar e not di sput ed. Di mova i s a nat i ve and

    ci t i zen of Bul gar i a. She emi gr at ed t o t he Uni t ed St at es i n t he

    summer of 2002 af t er she "won a gr een car d l ot t ery, " 1 and set t l ed

    i n t he Ral ei gh, Nor t h Carol i na area. Her husband and young son are

    Uni t ed St at es ci t i zens. Si nce comi ng t o t he Uni t ed St at es, Di mova

    1 A col l oqui al i sm. Di mova meant t hat she had been awarded a"di ver si t y vi sa. " Di ver si t y vi sas "ar e made avai l abl e t o ci t i zensof count r i es t hat have been under - r epr esent ed wi t hi n t he annual

    pool of i mmi gr ant s ent er i ng t he Uni t ed St at es. The vi sas ar edi st r i but ed by means of an annual l ot t ery hel d by t he Depart ment ofSt at e. " Uni t ed St at es v. Mensah, 737 F. 3d 789, 792 n. 1 ( 1st Ci r .2013) ( i nt er nal ci t at i ons and quot at i on mar ks omi t t ed) .I ndi vi dual s who go on t o r ecei ve vi sas t hr ough t hi s progr ambecomeel i gi bl e t o appl y f or ci t i zenshi p. See Gebr e v. Ri ce, 462F. Supp. 2d. 186, 187 ( D. Mass. 2006) .

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    has worked f or a ut i l i t y company and as an emergency medi cal

    t echni ci an.

    One of Di mova' s co- worker s, Mi l an Mi hayl ov, al so happened

    t o be a nei ghbor of her s i n Nor t h Car ol i na. Al t hough i t i s not

    cl ear f r omt he r ecor d whether Di mova gave any t hought t o Mi hayl ov' s

    l egal st at us when t hey f i r st met , she test i f i ed dur i ng r emoval

    pr oceedi ngs t hat , i f she "had t o make an assumpt i on back t hen, " she

    woul d have assumed he was a l egal r esi dent . Thi s i s because, she

    expl ai ned, her own i mmi gr at i on st atus had been checked by t hei r

    empl oyer , so she assumed Mi hayl ov' s s t at us woul d have been checked,

    t oo, especi al l y si nce he wor ked as a nur se. Mor eover , Mi hayl ov had

    been abl e t o buy a house, whi ch Di mova t ook as another si gn t hat he

    was i n t he count r y l egal l y. But appear ances can be decei vi ng:

    unbeknownst t o Di mova, Mi hayl ov di d not have l egal st atus i n t he

    Uni t ed St at es.

    Mi hayl ov r el ocat ed ( vol unt ar i l y) f r om Ral ei gh t o Canada

    i n March of 2007, but he cont i nued t o st ay i n t ouch wi t h Di mova

    af t er t he move. A f ew mont hs l ater , Mi hayl ov asked Di mova i f she

    coul d meet hi m i n Canada and dr i ve hi s car ( wi t h Mi hayl ov, hi s

    wi f e, and t hei r young daught er i nsi de) t o Nor t h Car ol i na. He t ol d

    Di mova t hat he needed her hel p because he was a bad dr i ver , i t was

    a 16- hour dr i ve t o Nor t h Car ol i na, and he coul dn' t dr i ve f or t oo

    l ong due t o a back pr obl em. Di mova agr eed. Mi hayl ov pr epared t wo

    notar i zed document s, one of whi ch aut hor i zed Di mova t o dr i ve hi s

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    car acr oss t he Canada- U. S. border , whi l e t he ot her al l owed Di mova

    t o t ake hi s t hr ee- year - ol d chi l d wi t h her as wel l .

    Mi hayl ov bought Di mova a one- way pl ane t i cket t o

    Mont r eal , wher e they pl anned t o begi n t hei r t r i p, and Di mova

    ar r i ved t her e on J ul y 25, 2007. Af t er meet i ng up wi t h t he

    Mi hayl ovs, t hey al l pi l ed i nt o t he car , wi t h Di mova t aki ng t he

    wheel and dr i vi ng sout h t owar ds Vermont . As eveni ng came on and

    t hey appr oached t he border , Mi hayl ov i nst r uct ed Di mova t o t ur n of f

    t he hi ghway, t hen di r ect ed her ont o a di r t r oad i n a remot e ar ea.

    Mi hayl ov t ol d Di mova t hat he want ed her t o dr op hi m and hi s wi f e

    of f t her e, by t he si de of t he r oad. He i mpl or ed Di mova t o t ake t he

    car and t hei r daught er i nt o t he Uni t ed St at es.

    Di mova was "ver y sur pr i sed" by thi s t ur n of event s, as

    she had assumed t hey woul d al l be maki ng t he cr ossi ng t ogether .

    She t ol d Mi hayl ov he was "cr azy" and demanded t o know why he was

    doi ng t hi s and why he was i nvol vi ng her . Mi hayl ov sai d t hat i t

    woul d be "bet t er f or us" t hi s way. When Di mova st opped t he car ,

    Mi hayl ov and hi s wi f e got out , t aki ng "one or t wo backpacks wi t h

    t hem. " Mi hayl ov t ol d her t hat t he paper s she' d need t o get t hei r

    car and t hei r daught er acr oss t he bor der wer e i n t he gl ove

    compar t ment .

    He al so gave Di mova a map of t he vi ci ni t y, whi ch al l owed

    her t o f i nd her way back to the hi ghway on t he Canadi an si de of t he

    border . I n addi t i on, t he map showed where t he Mi hayl ovs pl anned t o

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    cr oss t he border and where t hey woul d be wai t i ng t o get pi cked up

    once t hey made i t i nt o t he Uni t ed St at es. Mi hayl ov poi nt ed t hese

    l ocat i ons out t o Di mova. 2

    An argument ensued, wi t h Di mova t el l i ng hi m" I don' t want

    t o have not hi ng t o do wi t h t hi s, I am not comi ng back f or , f or you

    or your wi f e, I don' t car e. " She al so t ol d hi m, "i f I t ake your

    car f r om her e r i ght now . . . I ' m goi ng st r ai ght back t o Ral ei gh,

    Nor t h Car ol i na. " Whi l e t hey wer e ar gui ng, Mi hayl ov' s daught er

    "st ar t ed bei ng f ussy, " so Mi hayl ov deci ded t hat hi s f ami l y shoul d

    st ay t oget her af t er al l .

    Fi nal l y, Di mova t ol d Mi hayl ov he was " t oo cr azy, " and she

    t ook t hei r car and l ef t . I t was appr oxi mat el y 8: 00 p. m. and st i l l

    l i ght out , and Di mova dr ove di r ect l y t o t he bor der cr ossi ng

    st at i on. Al t hough she made i t t o t he bor der okay, Di mova not i ced

    t he bor der pat r ol agent s got suspi ci ous when t hey l ooked i n t he

    gl ove compar t ment , f ound t he document s al l owi ng Di mova t o t ake

    Mi hayl ov' s car and chi l d across t he border , and saw t hat Di mova was

    by her sel f . Never t hel ess, t hey al l owed Di mova t hr ough, and she

    cont i nued sout h t owar ds Nor t h Car ol i na f or sever al hour s, pl anni ng

    t o dr i ve al l t he way t her e wi t hout t ur ni ng back.

    As Di mova put di st ance bet ween hersel f and t he border ,

    she "r emember [ ed] t he chi l d, " who had been out i n t he woods al l

    2 A bor der pat r ol agent t est i f i ed t hat t he dr op- of f ar ea i s"wel l known . . . as a l ocat i on wher e al i ens and nar cot i cs ar esmuggl ed i nt o t he Uni t ed St at es. "

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    ni ght , and " j ust had t o make a j udgment cal l " on what t o do next .

    Af t er some i nt r ospect i on, she opt ed t o t ur n ar ound out of concer n

    f or t he Mi hayl ovs' chi l d, who she knew was st r anded i n t he woods.

    She di d t hi s even t hough she now r eal i zed t he Mi hayl ovs had l i kel y

    cr ossed i nt o t he Uni t ed St at es i l l egal l y. By t he t i me she f ound

    t he wai t i ng Mi hayl ovs ( at t he pl ace Mi hayl ov i ndi cat ed on t he map) ,

    i t was "ear l y dawn . . . st ar t i ng t o get l i ght out . " 3 Di mova and

    t he Mi hayl ovs were subsequent l y appr ehended by border pat r ol agent s

    i n Vermont , and Di mova was ul t i matel y charged, i n i mmi gr at i on

    cour t , as r emovabl e f or havi ng engaged i n al i en smuggl i ng. 4

    Di mova appear ed f or t r i al bef or e an i mmi gr at i on j udge

    ( "I J ") . Af t er f i ndi ng Di mova' s t est i mony credi bl e, t he I J f ound

    t hat , pr i or t o t hi s mi sadvent ur e, Di mova " r easonabl y bel i eved t hat

    [ Mi hayl ov] and hi s f ami l y had l egal st at us i n t he Uni t ed St at es,

    due t o hi s pr of essi on, vi si bi l i t y i n t he wor kpl ace, and hi s

    owner shi p of a home i n Nor t h Car ol i na. " Fur t her , he expl i ci t l y

    f ound Mi hayl ov " l i ed t o and t ook advant age of " Di mova t o secur e her

    hel p.

    3 Mi hayl ov t est i f i ed t hat he was goi ng t o "gi ve her " about t enhour s t o come back and pi ck up hi s f ami l y. He al so st at ed t hat he

    had begun t o t hi nk t hat Di mova was not goi ng t o come back f or t hemsi nce i t was "al most seven or ei ght hour s unt i l she, she cameback. "

    4 The Government i nf orms us t hat t hi s mat t er was r ef er r ed t ot he U. S. At t or ney' s Of f i ce, but i t decl i ned t o pr osecut e Di movacri mi nal l y.

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    The I J f ound as a f act t hat Di mova t r avel ed t o Canada " t o

    meet wi t h [ Mi hayl ov] and hi s f ami l y t o assi st t hem i n dr i vi ng t o

    Nor t h Car ol i na i n [ Mi hayl ov' s] vehi cl e. " He al so f ound " i t was not

    [ Di mova' s] i nt ent i on t o hel p [ t he Mi hayl ovs] i l l egal l y ent er t he

    Uni t ed St at es unt i l af t er sever al hour s of del i ber at i on and [ she]

    onl y r et ur ned t o ensur e t he saf et y of t he young chi l d. " Thus, t he

    I J f ound that Di mova di d not have any knowl edge t hat t he Mi hayl ovs

    l acked l egal st at us, nor di d she have any i nt ent t o assi st an

    i l l egal cr ossi ng at any t i me whi l e she was i n Canada.

    Never t hel ess, he det ermi ned t hat Di mova was r emovabl e

    because, by comi ng back f or and pi cki ng up t he Mi hayl ovs, she

    "knowi ngl y . . . encour aged, i nduced, assi st ed, abet t ed, or ai ded

    any . . . al i en t o ent er or t r y to ent er t he Uni t ed St at es i n

    vi ol at i on of l aw. " Thi s was so, he f ound, because Di mova "knew at

    t he t i me t hat she r et ur ned t o pi ck t he f ami l y up t hat t hey had

    ent er ed [ t he] count r y i l l egal l y. "

    Di mova appeal ed t o t he BI A, whi ch i ssued a wr i t t en

    opi ni on f r om a si ngl e boar d member set t i ng f or t h i t s own anal ysi s

    and af f i r mi ng t he I J ' s r emoval or der . The BI A consi der ed and

    r ej ected Di mova' s argument t hat she coul d not have assi st ed t he

    Mi hayl ovs wi t h t hei r ent r y i nt o t he Uni t ed St at es because t hey had

    cr ossed t he border hour s bef ore she went back f or t hem. The BI A

    concl uded t hat Di mova, al t hough she di d not i ni t i al l y wi sh t o hel p

    t he Mi hayl ovs wi t h t hei r cr ossi ng, never t hel ess "had t he r equi si t e

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    [ Mi hayl ovs] t o dr i ve t hem back t o Nor t h Car ol i na. " I n so doi ng,

    t he BI A f ound, Di mova " i nt ended t o f ol l ow t hr ough wi t h t hei r ent r y

    as or i gi nal l y di scussed i n Canada. "

    Fol l owi ng t hi s l at est set back, Di mova f i l ed a pet i t i on

    f or r evi ew wi t h t hi s Cour t . 5 We consol i dat ed bot h pet i t i ons, and

    or der ed or al ar gument . That havi ng been compl et ed, t hi s mat t er i s

    now r i pe f or r esol ut i on.

    II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

    The I J i ssued a wr i t t en deci si on f i ndi ng Di mova

    r emovabl e, and t he BI A aut hor ed i t s own opi ni on "adopt [ i ng] and

    af f i r m[ i ng] " t he I J ' s f act ual f i ndi ngs and r easoni ng. The BI A al so

    set f or t h i t s own addi t i onal anal ysi s. Accor di ngl y, we r evi ew bot h

    deci si ons, Rashad v. Mukasey, 554 F. 3d 1, 4 ( 1st Ci r . 2009) ,

    "f ocus[ i ng] our r evi ew on t he BI A' s deci si on r at her t han t he I J ' s, "

    Li ma v. Hol der , 758 F. 3d 72, 78 ( 1st Ci r . 2014) ( ci t i ng Lpez v.

    Hol der , 740 F. 3d 207, 210 ( 1st Ci r . 2014) ) ; Li n v. Mukasey, 521

    F. 3d 22, 26 ( 1st Ci r . 2008) ( "Wher e t he BI A adopt s t he I J ' s r ul i ng,

    but al so engages i n di scussi on of i t s own, we r evi ew t he deci si ons

    of bot h t oget her . ") .

    5 I nt er est i ngl y, r at her t han a st r ai ght - out r ever sal , Di mova

    want s us t o " r emand[ ] t o a panel of t he BI A f or f ur t her pr oceedi ngst o det ermi ne i f an act ual agr eement bet ween Ms. Di mova and t heal i ens was ent er ed i nt o bef or e t he al i ens ent er ed t he Uni t edSt at es, " and di r ect i t t o t er mi nat e pr oceedi ngs agai nst her i f suchan agr eement i s not support ed by t he r ecor d. Because we ul t i matel yconcl ude t hat t he BI A di d not er r , we have no need t o consi der t heappr opr i at eness of a r emand.

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    The Government has never cont est ed Di mova' s st or y about

    what happened and why she di d what she di d. And no one t akes i ssue

    wi t h any of t he I J ' s f act ual f i ndi ngs on appeal . 6 Accor di ngl y,

    t hough we remai n pr i mar i l y concer ned wi t h t he BI A' s deci si on, we

    are r equi r ed t o determi ne whether t he uncont est ed f act s r ender

    Di mova removabl e under t he al i en smuggl i ng pr ovi si on of t he

    I mmi gr at i on and Nat i onal i t y Act . Thi s pr esent s a quest i on of l aw,

    whi ch we r evi ew de novo. Li ma, 758 F. 3d at 78 ( appl yi ng de novo

    r evi ew t o " t he BI A' s concl usi on t hat a nonci t i zen' s cr i mi nal

    convi ct i on const i t ut es gr ounds f or r emoval " ) ; see al so Al t ami r ano

    v. Gonzal es, 427 F. 3d 586, 591 ( 9t h Ci r . 2005) ( det er mi ni ng t hat ,

    wher e a pet i t i oner "of f er s no obj ect i ons t o t he I J ' s f i ndi ngs of

    f act , t h[ e] case pr esent s a l egal quest i on we revi ew de novo")

    6

    Di mova does, however , asser t t he BI A made i mpr oper f act ualf i ndi ngs not made by t he I J i n t he f i r st i nst ance, namel y, t hatDi mova and t he Mi hayl ovs had a "group ar r angement " and a"pr ear r angement " t o meet i n t he Uni t ed St at es. See 8 C. F. R. 1003. 1( d) ( 3) ( i v) ( "[ T] he [ BI A] wi l l not engage i n f act f i ndi ng i nt he cour se of deci di ng appeal s. " ) . Havi ng r evi ewed bot h of t heBI A' s wr i t t en deci si ons, we di sagr ee. The BI A expl i ci t l y i ndi cat edi n i t s f i r st deci si on t hat i t was adopt i ng t he I J ' s f i ndi ngs, andwe see not hi ng under cut t i ng t hi s st at ement i n i t s deni al ofDi mova' s mot i on f or r econsi der at i on. No one- - not DHS, t he I J , ort he BI A- - has ever sai d t hat Di mova had any i nt ent t o assi st i n ani l l egal crossi ng at any t i me pr i or t o t he Mi hayl ovs' physi cal

    cr ossi ng. To t he extent t he BI A r ef er enced a pr ear r angement , wet ake t hi s as a r ef er ence t o t he uncont est ed f act s t hat Mi hayl ovt ol d Di mova where he and hi s f ami l y woul d wai t f or her , Di movaevent ual l y deci ded t o go back t here, and she f ound t he Mi hayl ovswai t i ng at t hat ver y spot . These f act s, t aken t oget her , l ead t ot he l ogi cal concl usi on t hat t he pi ck- up poi nt was pr ear r anged, event hough Di mova' s agr eement t o t he ar r angement was bel at ed.

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    ( i nt er nal quot at i on mar ks omi t t ed) . 7 Nonet hel ess, we gener al l y

    gi ve "some def er ence t o t he [ BI A' s] r easonabl e i nt er pr et at i on of

    st at ut es and r egul at i ons t hat f al l wi t hi n i t s pur vi ew. " Pan v.

    Gonzal es, 489 F. 3d 80, 85 ( 1st Ci r . 2007) ; see al so Fust agui o Do

    Nasci ment o v. Mukasey, 549 F. 3d 12, 15 (1st Ci r . 2008) ( sayi ng t hat

    we gi ve "due def er ence" i n t hat r egar d) .

    III. DISCUSSION

    The Government cont ends Di mova i s r emovabl e pur suant t o

    I NA 237( a) ( 1) ( E) ( i ) , 8 U. S. C. 1227( a) ( 1) ( E) ( i ) . That secti on

    pr ovi des:

    Any al i en who ( pr i or t o t he dat e of ent r y, att he t i me of any ent r y, or wi t hi n 5 year s oft he dat e of any ent r y) [ 1] knowi ngl y has [ 2]encour aged, i nduced, assi st ed, abet t ed, orai ded any ot her al i en [ 3] t o ent er or t o t r yt o ent er t he Uni t ed St at es i n vi ol at i on of l awi s depor t abl e.

    I NA 237( a) ( 1) ( E) ( i ) , 8 U. S. C. 1227( a) ( 1) ( E) ( i ) . The BI A

    concl uded t hat by ret ur ni ng f or and pi cki ng up t he Mi hayl ovs, al l

    t he whi l e knowi ng t hey had ent er ed t he Uni t ed St at es i l l egal l y,

    Di mova af f i r mat i vel y assi st ed t he Mi hayl ovs' i l l egal ent r y and

    t hereby became r emovabl e. On appeal , Di mova r ai ses sever al gr ounds

    7 Ther e i s one addi t i onal wr i nkl e, easi l y i r oned out . The BI Ai ssued not one, but t wo wr i t t en deci si ons, one af f i r mi ng t he I J ,

    and the second denyi ng Di mova' s mot i on f or r econsi der at i on.Techni cal l y, we r evi ew t he BI A' s deni al of t he mot i on f orr econsi der at i on f or abuse of di scr et i on onl y, Mar t i nez- Lopez v.Hol der , 704 F. 3d 169, 171 ( 1st Ci r . 2013) , but because weul t i mat el y concl ude f r om our de novo r evi ew t hat t he BI A di d noter r i n af f i r mi ng t he I J , we need not separ at el y addr ess t he mot i onf or r econsi der at i on.

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    Mi hayl ovs had al r eady ent ered t he Uni t ed St ates when she r etur ned

    f or t hem. Thus, even i f she knowi ngl y r endered some sor t of

    assi st ance t o t hem, she di d so onl y af t er t hei r ent r y was compl et e

    and, t heref ore, she may not be puni shed under t he al i en smuggl i ng

    statute. 8

    Fai l i ng t hat , Di mova ar gues t hat t o be removabl e under

    t he st at ut e, she must have act ed wi t h t he i nt ent t o assi st t he

    Mi hayl ovs' i l l egal ent r y. Thi s i nt ent i s absent , she says, because

    t he I J speci f i cal l y f ound, and t he Gover nment does not cont est ,

    t hat she r et ur ned f or t he Mi hayl ovs out of a humani t ar i an concer n

    f or t hei r young chi l d who had been out si de i n t he woods overni ght ,

    not out of any desi r e t o hel p t hem get away wi t h an i l l egal bor der

    cr ossi ng. Thanks to t hi s f i ndi ng, Di mova cont ends t hat she di d not

    possess t he necessar y mens r ea t o suppor t a f i ndi ng of al i en

    smuggl i ng.

    The Government , not surpr i si ngl y, sees t hi ngs i n a

    di f f er ent l i ght and char act er i zes Di mova' s vi ew of what const i t ut es

    8 Di mova suggest s t hat i t woul d have been more appr opr i ate f ort he Government t o pr oceed agai nst her pur suant t o a separatest at ut e t hat pr ohi bi t s knowi ngl y t r anspor t i ng i ndi vi dual s who haveent er ed i l l egal l y. See I NA 274( a) ( 1) ( A) ( i i ) , 8 U. S. C. 1324( a) ( 1) ( A) ( i i ) ( pr ovi di ng cri mi nal penal t i es f or an i ndi vi dual

    who "knowi ng or i n r eckl ess di sr egar d of t he f act t hat an al i en hascome t o, ent er ed, or r emai ns i n t he Uni t ed St at es i n vi ol at i on ofl aw, t r anspor t s . . . such al i en wi t hi n t he Uni t ed St at es") .Because t he Gover nment has onl y pr oceeded agai nst Di mova on t hebasi s of t he al i en smuggl i ng char ge, i t i s i r r el evant t o t hi sappeal whether her conduct may sat i sf y an of f ense def i ned i n adi f f er ent st at ut e.

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    al i en smuggl i ng as "cr amped. " The Government ur ges us t o adopt t he

    r easoni ng of t he ot her ci r cui t s t hat have " r ej ect ed a nar r ow

    i nt er pr et at i on" of t he al i en smuggl i ng st at ut e.

    Accor di ng t o t he Gover nment , i t i s i mmat er i al whet her

    Di mova " i nduced or encour aged" t he Mi hayl ovs t o ent er t he count r y,

    nor does i t mat t er whether anyt hi ng she di d caused t he Mi hayl ovs t o

    cr oss t he border or even whether t here was a prear r angement .

    Nei t her does i t mat t er t hat Di mova may have ul t i matel y been

    mot i vat ed by a concer n f or t he Mi hayl ovs' young chi l d, r at her t han

    a desi r e t o hel p t hem get t o Nor t h Carol i na undet ect ed by bor der

    pat r ol . What does mat t er , t he Government says, i s t hat Di mova

    "knowi ngl y ai ded t he Mi hayl ovs i n advanci ng t hei r scheme by

    r et ur ni ng t o a desi gnat ed spot and dr i vi ng t hem t owar d t hei r

    dest i nat i on, whet her out of humani t ar i an concer n or not . "

    Havi ng suf f i ci ent l y dr essed t he st age, we can now r ai se

    t he cur t ai n on our anal ysi s.

    1. Dimova's Actions in Canada

    Begi nni ng wi t h Di mova' s t i me i n Canada, t he Gover nment

    does not even cont end t hat any of her act i ons t here rendered her

    r emovabl e. We agr ee wi t h t he par t i es t hat , based upon t he

    st at ut e' s pl ai n l anguage, she di d not hi ng i n Canada t o encour age,

    i nduce, assi st , ai d, or abet t he Mi hayl ovs' crossi ng. I ndeed, i t

    i s uncont est ed t hat Di mova bel i eved t he Mi hayl ovs had t he l egal

    r i ght t o ent er t he Uni t ed St ates when she f l ew t o Canada and began

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    dr i vi ng sout h. And when t he Mi hayl ovs t ol d her what t hey i nt ended,

    t he r ecor d shows t hat Di mova out r i ght r ef used t o hel p, goi ng so f ar

    as t o t el l t hem t hat i f she dr ove away i n t hei r car , she woul dn' t

    be back f or t hem.

    I n addi t i on, t he Government does not cont end t hat Di mova

    had any dut y t o r epor t t he Mi hayl ovs' i nt ent as she her sel f cr ossed

    t he bor der . Any pot ent i al ar gument al ong t hese l i nes has,

    t her ef or e, been wai ved. Uni t ed St at es v. Zanni no, 895 F. 2d 1, 17

    ( 1st Ci r . 1990) .

    Accor di ngl y, we concl ude t hat none of Di mova' s act i ons

    whi l e she was i n Canada or dur i ng her own border cr ossi ng

    const i t ut e al i en smuggl i ng.

    2. Actions in the United States

    Next , we must det er mi ne whet herDi mova' s act i ons t aken on

    t he Uni t ed St at es si de of t he bor der , namel y, r et ur ni ng f or and

    pi cki ng up t he Mi hayl ovs, r ender her r emovabl e. We consi der f i r st

    her argument t hat t he Mi hayl ovs had al r eady compl eted t hei r ent r y

    when she went back f or t hem.

    i. "Entry"

    Di mova' s posi t i on i mpl i cat es t he meani ng of "ent r y"

    wi t hi n t he cont ext of t he al i en smuggl i ng st at ut e. We have not

    of t en had cause t o i nt er pr et t he I NA' s al i en smuggl i ng pr ovi si ons,

    and we have not yet passed upon t he meani ng of i t s phr ase "t o ent er

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    or t o t r y t o ent er . " Never t hel ess, we do not wr i t e on a bl ank

    sl at e: t he BI A has al r eady gi ven i t s own def i ni t i on.

    Accor di ng t o t he BI A, "an ' ent r y' r equi r es: ( 1) a

    cr ossi ng i nt o t he t er r i t or i al l i mi t s of t he Uni t ed St at es, i . e. ,

    physi cal pr esence; ( 2) ( a) an i nspect i on and admi ssi on by an

    i mmi gr at i on of f i cer , or ( b) an act ual and i nt ent i onal evasi on of

    i nspect i on at t he near est i nspect i on poi nt ; and ( 3) f r eedom f r om

    of f i ci al r est r ai nt . " Mat t er of Mar t i nez- Ser r ano, 25 I . & N. Dec.

    151, 153 ( B. I . A. 2009) ( i nt er nal quot at i on mar ks omi t t ed) ( emphasi s

    r emoved) . The BI A has al so determi ned t hat " t he act of ent r y may

    i ncl ude ot her r el at ed act s t hat occur r ed ei t her bef or e, dur i ng, or

    af t er a bor der cr ossi ng, so l ong as t hose act s ar e i n f ur t her ance

    of , and may be consi dered t o be par t of , t he act of secur i ng and

    accompl i shi ng t he ent r y. " I d. at 154 ( ci t i ng Al t ami r ano, 427 F. 3d

    586; Ur zua Covar r ubi as v. Gonzal es, 487 F. 3d 742, 748 ( 9t h Ci r .

    2007) ; Lar i os- Mendez v. I NS, 597 F. 2d 144 ( 9t h Ci r . 1979) )

    ( emphasi s added) .

    The BI A' s i nter pret at i on of t he st at ut or y t er m does not

    st r i ke us as "ar bi t r ar y, capr i ci ous, or cl ear l y cont r ar y t o l aw. "

    Da Si l va Net o v. Hol der , 680 F. 3d 25, 28 ( 1st Ci r . 2012) . To t he

    cont r ar y, i t i s l ogi cal and makes emi nent good sense. Accor di ngl y,

    we shoul d def er t o t he BI A' s i nt er pr et at i on of t he t er m, "ent r y, "

    and we do so her e. Cf . i d. at 33 ( " [ W] e must def er t o t he BI A' s

    concl usi on t hat a cr i me i nvol ves mor al t ur pi t ude i f t hat concl usi on

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    i s nei t her ar bi t r ar y nor cont r ar y t o l aw. ") ( i nt er nal quot at i on

    marks omi t t ed) . 9

    Nevert hel ess, Di mova bel i eves we shoul d vi ew "ent r y"

    nar r owl y t o concl ude that t he Mi hayl ovs compl et ed t hei r s upon

    physi cal l y cr ossi ng f r om Canada t o t he Uni t ed St at es. A maj or

    pr obl em wi t h her ar gument , however , i s t hat t he cases she ci t es t o

    back up t hi s pr oposi t i on ar e easi l y di st i ngui shabl e. Unl i ke her e,

    where onl y hour s el apsed between t he physi cal cr ossi ng and Di mova' s

    r et ur n, each of Di mova' s cases i nvol ved a passage of t i me on the

    or der of days, or even weeks, bet ween t he i l l egal cr ossi ng and t he

    act of assi st ance, l eadi ng t o t he concl usi on t hat t he i l l egal ent r y

    had been compl et ed. See Par r a- Roj as v. At t ' y Gen. U. S. , 747 F. 3d

    164, 170 ( 3d Ci r . 2014) ( f i ndi ng pet i t i oner , whose "conduct was

    st r i ct l y l i mi t ed t o pi cki ng up t he al i ens once t hey had al r eady

    cr ossed t he bor der and t r anspor t i ng t hem f r om one ar ea i n t he

    9 Ci t i ng I . N. S. v. St . Cyr , 533 U. S. 289, 320 n. 45 ( 2001) ,Di mova ur ges us not t o def er t o t he BI A' s def i ni t i on because suchdef er ence i s onl y war r ant ed when t he st at ut e i s ambi guous, and, i nher vi ew, t he al i en smuggl i ng st at ut e i s not . Yet , Di mova does notbr i ng our at t ent i on t o any stat ut or y def i ni t i on of "ent r y, " and wehave pr evi ousl y sai d that " [ w] her e Congr ess has not spoken di r ect l yt o t he i ssue, t he i nt er pr et at i on gi ven by t he BI A i s ent i t l ed t odef er ence unl ess ar bi t r ar y, capr i ci ous, or mani f est l y cont r ar y t ot he st at ut e. " Cabr al v. I . N. S. , 15 F. 3d 193, 194 ( 1st Ci r . 1994) .

    Fur t her mor e, t he ot her case Di mova r el i es on, I . N. S. v. Car doza-Fonseca, 480 U. S. 421 ( 1987) , cut s agai nst her , as t he Supr emeCour t i ndi cat ed t her e t hat , i n gener al , we ar e t o f ol l ow t he BI A' sl ead wher e Congr ess i nsert s i nt o a st at ut e a t er mt hat "can onl y begi ven concr ete meani ng t hr ough a pr ocess of case- by- caseadj udi cat i on. " I d. at 447- 48. I t seems t o us t hat "ent r y, " asused i n t he al i en smuggl i ng act , i s j ust such a t er m.

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    Uni t ed St at es t o anot her " di d not vi ol at e al i en smuggl i ng

    pr ovi si ons wher e pet i t i oner di d not know t he al i ens bef or e t hey

    ent er ed t he count r y and t he i l l egal cr ossi ngs t ook pl ace "sever al

    days" bef or e t he pet i t i oner pi cked t hem up) ; Mat t er of I . M. , 7

    I . & N. Dec. 389, 390- 91 ( B. I . A. 1957) ( concl udi ng t hat r espondent

    who t r anspor t ed sever al al i ens di d not ai d or abet t hei r i l l egal

    ent r i es wher e t he r espondent di d not pr ovi de t r anspor t at i on unt i l

    days or weeks af t er each i ndi vi dual physi cal l y ent er ed t he Uni t ed

    St at es) . Accor di ngl y, we f i nd t hem of l i t t l e per suasi ve val ue

    gi ven t he f act s i n t hi s r ecor d. 10 Fur t hermore, even t hese cases do

    not f i nd t hat t he i l l egal ent r y was compl et e at t he moment t he

    i ndi vi dual i l l egal l y crossed i nt o t he Uni t ed St at es.

    We bel i eve "ent r y" shoul d be gi ven a br oader meani ng t han

    t he one Di mova ur ges. We agr ee wi t h t he Ni nt h Ci r cui t t hat ent r y

    i nt o the Uni t ed St at es " r equi r es mor e than mer e physi cal pr esence

    wi t hi n t he count r y. " Uni t ed St at es v. Gonzal ez- Tor r es, 309 F. 3d

    594, 598 ( 9t h Ci r . 2002) . "To ' ent er , ' an al i en must cr oss t he

    Uni t ed St at es bor der f ree f rom of f i ci al r estr ai nt . " I d.

    I n Gonzal ez- Tor r es, our si st er ci r cui t deal t wi t h an

    al l egat i on t hat an al i en ent er ed t he Uni t ed St at es wi t hout of f i ci al

    10 Because we f i nd Par r a- Roj as di st i ngui shabl e on t he f act s,we need not engage wi t h t he Government ' s content i on t hat t he Thi r dCi r cui t ' s opi ni on i n t hat case i s "i n t ensi on" wi t h Fi f t h and Ni nt hCi r cui t opi ni ons. Nei t her do we need t o addr ess t he Gover nment ' si mpl i cat i on t hat t he Thi r d Ci r cui t i mpr oper l y f ai l ed t o def er t ot he BI A' s i nt er pr et at i on of "ent r y" wi t h r egar ds t o al i ensmuggl i ng.

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    aut hor i zat i on i n vi ol at i on of t he appl i cabl e st at ut e. The

    def endant t her e had been under const ant survei l l ance f r omt he t i me

    he crossed t he bor der unt i l hi s ar r est , l eadi ng t he Ni nt h Ci r cui t

    t o concl ude he had "st i l l not made an ent r y despi t e havi ng cr ossed

    t he bor der . . . because he l ack[ed] t he f r eedomt o go at l ar ge and

    mi x wi t h t he popul at i on. " I d. ( i nt er nal quot at i on mar ks omi t t ed) .

    The Cour t concl uded t hat i t i s onl y when "an al i en i s not

    di scover ed unt i l some t i me af t er exer ci si ng hi s f r ee wi l l wi t hi n

    t he Uni t ed St at es, [ t hat ] he has ent er ed f r ee f r om of f i ci al

    res t rai nt . " I d.

    Al t hough t here i s no evi dence showi ng the Mi hayl ovs were

    under sur vei l l ance f r om t he t i me they crossed t he bor der t o the

    moment of t hei r arr est mer e hour s l at er , t he record demonst r at es

    t he Mi hayl ovs di d not exer ci se thei r f r ee wi l l i n any meani ngf ul

    way af t er t hei r physi cal cr ossi ng. The onl y t hi ng t he Mi hayl ovs

    di d i n the Uni t ed St at es was wai t over ni ght , i n a r emote wooded

    ar ea, f or Di mova t o pi ck t hem up. Al l t ol d, t hey wer e i n t he

    Uni t ed St at es f or a mat t er of hour s, j ust a wal k f r om t he bor der ,

    bef ore Di mova rendered t he ass i st ance necessary f or t hem t o move

    f or war d wi t h t hei r ef f or t t o ent er t he count r y wi t hout

    appr ehensi on. Cf . Sor i ano v. Gonzal es, 484 F. 3d 318, 320- 21 ( 5t h

    Ci r . 2007) ( r ej ect i ng t he pet i t i oner ' s ar gument t hat he mer el y

    t r anspor t ed al i ens al r eady wi t hi n t he Uni t ed St at es, i nst ead of

    assi st i ng t hat ent r y, wher e t he pet i t i oner met and pi cked up t he

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    al i ens at a McDonal d' s par ki ng l ot wi t hi n hour s of t hei r physi cal

    cr ossi ng i nt o t he Uni t ed St at es) . Mor eover , t he gr oup' s

    appr ehensi on occur r ed i n Ver mont , l ong bef or e t hey ar r i ved at t hei r

    pl anned end- dest i nat i on i n Nor t h Car ol i na. Accor di ngl y, we can not

    say on t hese f act s t hat t he Mi hayl ovs' ent r y was compl et e at t he

    t i me Di mova came back f or t hem.

    Whi l e we coul d concei ve of di f f er ent f act s t hat mi ght

    have l ed us t o concl ude the Mi hayl ovs compl et ed t hei r ent r y bef or e

    Di mova pi cked t hemup, we need not engage i n t hat academi c exer ci se

    her e. Thi s case does not r equi r e us t o announce any br i ght - l i ne

    r ul e or a def i ni t i ve def i ni t i on of "ent r y" appl i cabl e i n al l cases.

    Wher ever t he l i ne may f al l , t he f act s her e do not appr oach i t .

    ii. Assistance

    Havi ng determi ned t hat t he Mi hayl ovs had not compl eted

    t hei r "ent r y" when Di mova pi cked t hem up, we must now determi ne

    whet her she "encour aged, i nduced, assi st ed, abet t ed, or ai ded"

    t hei r at t empt . Di mova says t hat she di d not r ender assi st ance

    wi t hi n t he meani ng of t he st at ut e because she di d not act i n

    accordance wi t h a pr ear r anged pl an, and because t here was no causal

    connect i on bet ween her act i ons and t he Mi hayl ovs' ent r y.

    As wi t h ent r y, we have not pr evi ousl y rul ed upon t he

    meani ng of assi st ance wi t hi n t he cont ext of t he al i en smuggl i ng

    st at ut e. We agai n l ook t o t he deci si ons of ot her cour t s t hat have.

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    The Ni nth Ci r cui t - - i n a case i nvol vi ng i dent i cal

    st at ut or y l anguage under a di f f er ent sect i on of t he I NA- - obser ved

    t hat " t he pl ai n meani ng of t hi s st at ut or y pr ovi si on r equi r es an

    af f i r mat i ve act of hel p, assi st ance, or encour agement " f or an

    i ndi vi dual t o have engaged i n al i en smuggl i ng. Al t ami r ano, 427

    F. 3d at 592; see al so Tapucu v. Gonzal es, 399 F. 3d 736, 740 ( 6t h

    Ci r . 2005) ( hol di ng t hat t he al i en smuggl i ng pr ovi si on " r equi r es an

    af f i r mat i ve and i l l i ci t act of assi st ance i n shepher di ng someone

    acr oss t he bor der " ) . We agr ee.

    We al so agr ee wi t h our si st er ci r cui t s t hat an i ndi vi dual

    need not be physi cal l y pr esent at t he t i me and pl ace of t he i l l egal

    cr ossi ng t o have assi st ed an i l l egal ent r y. Sor i ano, 484 F. 3d at

    321; Sanchez- Mar quez v. I . N. S. , 725 F. 2d 61, 63 ( 7t h Ci r . 1984)

    ( f i ndi ng t hat an i ndi vi dual who pr omi sed t o meet and t r anspor t

    seven i ndi vi dual s af t er t hei r i l l egal ent r y had vi ol at ed t he I NA' s

    al i en smuggl i ng pr ovi si on) . Had Congr ess i nt ended t o i ncor por at e

    such a physi cal pr esence r equi r ement , i t pr esumabl y woul d have sai d

    so when i t dr af t ed t he st at ut e. Thus, we do not consi der t he f act

    t hat Di mova was not physi cal l y pr esent wi t h t he Mi hayl ovs when t hey

    cr ossed f r omCanada t o Ver mont as i nocul at i ng her agai nst t he al i en

    smuggl i ng charge.

    Di mova ar gues t hat she di d not act i n accordance wi t h a

    pr ear r anged pl an, not i ng i n her r epl y br i ef t hat " [ s] he was not

    par t of a conspi r acy, pl an, scheme or under st andi ng t hat she was

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    goi ng t o do anyt hi ng i n vi ol at i on of t he i mmi gr at i on l aws of t he

    Uni t ed St at es. " Be t hat as i t may, t he st at ut e does not pr edi cat e

    l i abi l i t y on whet her or not t he i ndi vi dual s had a pr ear r anged pl an

    bef or e t he i l l egal cr ossi ng or at t empt ed cr ossi ng. Al l Di mova need

    have done was knowi ngl y pr ovi de some sor t of af f i r mat i ve assi st ance

    t o enabl e t he Mi hayl ovs' ( at t empt ed) ent r y. And she di d not even

    need t o be pr esent at t he t i me and pl ace of t he Mi hayl ovs' act ual

    cr ossi ng i n or der t o be consi der ed t o have r ender ed assi st ance.

    Fur t her , and cont r ar y t o her vi ew of t he st at ut e, Di mova

    does not need t o have "caused" t he Mi hayl ovs t o cr oss t he border ,

    nor di d she have t o "encour age" or " i nduce" t hem t o do so i n or der

    t o become r emovabl e under t he al i en smuggl i ng st atut e. Nei t her

    does t he st at ut e di f f er ent i at e bet ween assi st ance r ender ed bef or e

    or af t er t he physi cal cr ossi ng. See Mar t i nez- Ser r ano, 25 I . & N.

    Dec. at 154 ( r ecogni zi ng t hat an i ndi vi dual may engage i n al i en

    smuggl i ng by render i ng an act of ass i st ance af t er a physi cal

    cr ossi ng i s made) . To be r emovabl e, Di mova need onl y have

    "assi st ed, abet t ed or ai ded" t he Mi hayl ovs' at t empt ed i l l egal

    ent r y. Thus, what i s determi nat i ve i s whether Di mova somehow eased

    or f aci l i t at ed what she knew t o be an at t empt ed i l l egal ent r y.

    The evi dence i n t he r ecor d ampl y suppor t s t he BI A' s

    concl usi on t hat Di mova' s af f i r mat i ve act s assi st ed t he Mi hayl ovs'

    at t empt ed ent r y. As darkness appr oached on t he eveni ng pr ecedi ng

    her ar r est , Di mova dr ove down a di r t r oad and r eached a remote

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    Canadi an l ocat i on wher e t he Mi hayl ovs got out of t hei r car . Di mova

    l ef t , knowi ng as she di d so t hat she was dr i vi ng away wi t h t hei r

    onl y f or mof t r anspor t at i on ( apar t f r omt hei r f eet ) . She al so knew

    t he Mi hayl ovs wer e rel yi ng on her t o pi ck t hem up on t he U. S. si de

    of t he bor der . The r ecor d does not suggest t hat t he Mi hayl ovs had

    a back- up or al t er nat i ve pl an f or evadi ng appr ehensi on j ust i nsi de

    t he bor der shoul d Di mova r ef use t o hel p t hem out . Thi s i s

    cor r oborated by t he f act t hat when Di mova retur ned f or t hem

    appr oxi mat el y ei ght hour s l at er , t he Mi hayl ovs wer e wai t i ng r i ght

    where they sai d t hey woul d be (not t o ment i on Mi hayl ov' s t est i mony

    t hat he pl anned t o wai t t en hour s f or her t o r et ur n) .

    On t hi s r ecord, we have no t r oubl e concl udi ng t hat

    Di mova' s af f i r mat i ve act s assi st ed t he Mi hayl ovs' i l l egal ent r y.

    Di mova render ed i nval uabl e assi st ance by pl ucki ng t he Mi hayl ovs

    f r oma r emot e l ocat i on and al l owi ng t hemt o r esume t hei r sout hwar d

    j our ney wi t hout det ect i on. Wi t hout Di mova' s hel p, f or al l

    pr act i cal pur poses t he Mi hayl ovs woul d have been st r anded i n the

    woods and, mor e l i kel y, caught by bor der pat r ol . Her af f i r mat i ve

    act i ons cl ear l y assi st ed t he Mi hayl ovs' "act ual and i nt ent i onal

    evasi on of i nspect i on" at t he bor der . Mar t i nez- Ser r ano, 25 I . & N.

    Dec. at 153.

    iii. Mens Rea - Humanitarian Concern

    Di mova' s f i nal ar gument i s t hat even i f she assi st ed t he

    Mi hayl ovs i n t hei r i l l egal ent r y, st i l l she di d not engage i n al i en

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    smuggl i ng because, as t he I J f ound, she was mot i vat ed sol el y out of

    concer n f or t he Mi hayl ovs' chi l d. I n ot her wor ds, she act ed out of

    humani t ar i an concern, and by pi cki ng up t he Mi hayl ovs she i nt ended

    t o hel p t hei r chi l d, not assi st t hei r i l l egal ent r y. Thi s ar gument

    i s wi t hout mer i t .

    Unf or t unat el y f or Di mova, t he st at ut e' s pl ai n l anguage

    does not cont ai n an except i on f or assi st ance st emmi ng i n whol e or

    i n par t f r om humani t ar i an concer n. And Di mova does not ci t e any

    ot her aut hor i t y pr ovi di ng f or such an except i on. As rel evant t o

    t he f act s i n t hi s r ecor d, t he st at ut e r equi r es not hi ng mor e t han a

    knowi ng act of assi st ance t o an at t empt ed i l l egal ent r y i nt o t he

    Uni t ed St at es.

    At t r i al , Di mova admi t t ed t hat she knew t he Mi hayl ovs had

    cr ossed t he bor der i l l egal l y. And whi l e we can onl y specul at e as

    t o what woul d have happened t o t he Mi hayl ovs had Di mova not gone

    back, i t i s saf e t o say t hat her act i ons made i t easi er f or t hemt o

    avoi d appr ehensi on at t he bor der . Thi s i s al l t he st at ut e

    r equi r es, r egar dl ess of whet her she was mot i vat ed ( i n whol e or i n

    par t ) by humani t ar i an concer n.

    IV. CONCLUSION

    Ti me t o sumup. Al t hough Di mova' s so- cal l ed f r i end l i ed

    t o and t ook advant age of her , Di mova never t hel ess came to t he

    deci si on t o af f i r mat i vel y assi st t he Mi hayl ovs i n t hei r bor der

    cr ossi ng. She t hen r et ur ned f or and hel ped t he Mi hayl ovs, knowi ng

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