A regulation published in the Federal Register, V. 67 No. 22, requires nonimmigrant males who met the following criteria to register in the National Security Entry Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS):

  • National or citizens of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen., who are
  • born on or before December 2, 1986, and
  • admitted to the US on or before September 30, 2002, and
  • remained in the US at least until January 10, 2003.
  • remained in the US at least until January 10, 2003.

The way many of these cases come to light is when an immigrant marries a US citizen and files an application to adjust status to permanent residence.

 

Our experience in Orlando, Florida is that when the applicant shows up at the interview, he is detained and put into removal proceedings. It then takes a while to obtain a bond and have the immigration court case terminated to continue the adjustment process.

An alternative way to deal with a failure to register is to file the adjustment of status application, but when you receive a Request for Evidence asking for proof of registration, write a letter explaining that you did not register, but that you wish to be in compliance with the law. Ask for the file to be sent to your local USCIS office in order to schedule your registration.

You should then receive an appointment letter to meet with ICE, at which time you will be interviewed to determine if you should be detained or not. We have found that the first inquiry made by ICE is whether or not this is a valid marriage, and secondly, what was the reason the immigrant failed to register. Having a valid reason such as a death in the family or serious illness could result in a decision not to detain. On the other hand, if it appears that the immigrant simply chose not to register, detention is likely.

The advantage, however, of following this procedure is that it places the immigrant on a faster track to be released. ICE will specify a day of the week which will allow them to transport the alien directly to the detention center, rather than waiting in the county jail for that day to arrive. No cash bond will be required, and as soon as the immigrant can see a judge, the immigrant can be released assuming there are no other issues.