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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Petitioner, a native and citizen of Mexico, claims she first came to the United States in 1982. She married, and her husband filed an I-130 petition on her behalf in August 1987. The INS approved the petition in September 1987, and petitioner became a lawful permanent resident (LPR) on Dec. 15, 1992. She had four children, all born in the United States. On July 31, 1999, petitioner was convicted of theft of property between $1,500 and $20,000 in a welfare fraud. She received five years of deferred adjudication for the felony. In August 1999, petitioner traveled to Mexico for a day. She did so with permission from her state probation officer. On Aug. 21, 1999, she requested admission to the United States as a returning LPR. The Immigration and Naturalization Service issued a notice to appear charging petitioner as an “arriving alien” inadmissible under �212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. �1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I), for having committed a crime “involving moral turpitude.” On Oct. 26, 2000, an immigration judge determined petitioner was removable as an “arriving alien” and ineligible for a waiver of admissibility under 8 U.S.C. �1182(h). The immigration judge ordered her removed from the United States. Petitioner appealed. On Dec. 17, 2002, the BIA adopted and affirmed the immigration judge’s decision. Petitioner filed a writ of habeas corpus in federal district court. On Feb. 24, 2004, a magistrate judge recommended transferring the case to this court for direct review. On Sept. 30, 2004, the district court transferred the case and stayed petitioner’s claims in habeas. HOLDING:Affirmed. The Fleuti doctrine (Rosenberg v. Fleuti, 374 U.S. 422 (1963)) refers to the U.S. Supreme Court’s determination that a resident alien did not effect an entry returning from “”an innocent, casual, and brief excursion’ outside the United States; instead such an alien effects an entry only if he intended to depart in a manner”meaningfully interruptive’ of the alien’s permanent residence.” Despite the innocent and brief nature of her trip to Mexico, petitioner can be considered an arriving alien. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act of 1996 superseded the Fleuti doctrine and its intent test when the act replaced the above-quoted provision with the current 8 U.S.C. �1101(a)(13)(C). “Petitioner raises constitutional objections to the determination of her as an arriving alien. These take a variety of forms, but boil down to an argument that her treatment violates a nebulous ‘constitutional core’ of Fleuti and the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.” The court rejects these arguments. The second question is whether the BIA erred in concluding Fuentes was ineligible for a waiver of admissibility under � 1182(h). Petitioner’s main argument is that her ineligibility deprives her of equal protection. “The group of which Petitioner claims she is a part, inadmissible LPRs with less than 180 days until they are eligible for waiver who return to the United States, is not so much a classification created by the law as a description of those against whom it works. Whenever a law draws a line which separates those who benefit from it and those who do not, examining a sufficiently narrow”classification’ will yield apparent inequities. But the Constitution does not protect against a law having a negative impact. A plaintiff cannot simply tailor their alleged classification to the contours of a statute, ascertain those impacted negatively and establish a denial of equal protection.” OPINION:Edward C. Prado, J.; Jones, C.J., Wiener and Prado, JJ.

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