Francisco Rodriguez-Quiroz applied for adjustment of status. He asserted that he had entered the United States using a border crossing card in 2004 and had never left. A government-produced document, called a TECS-II printout, confirmed this entry, but showed a subsequent departure in 2005, with no admission thereafter. Another government-document, a Form I-213, alleged that Rodriguez-Quiroz had admitted to an immigration official that he entered the United States in 2005 without inspection. Rodriguez-Quiroz disputed the accuracy of both of these documents, asking that the Government provide information on how the TECS-II database compiled information on departures, and that the Government produce the officers who created the Form I-213 for cross-examination. He also presented copious documentary evidence placing him in the United States on the days just before and just after the alleged date of departure in 2005. The Government did not present the requested evidence on the TECS-II database or the officers who drafted the Form I-213, and the Immigration Judge determined that Rodriguez-Quiroz had not met his burden to prove the time and manner of his last entry into the United States. The Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed.
The Eighth Circuit reversed. "While the record supports the assertion that a public official printed the TECSII document from a government computer system,5 it does not necessarily support an assertion that the departure information derived from a public official or from government records. As set forth above, DHS provided no foundation for the TECSII document, despite the IJ’s request for an explanation of how the departure information came to be recorded in the TECS system and the IJ’s comment that she would not be able to assess the reliability of the departure information without such an explanation. Moreover, Rodriguez had asserted that the information may have originated from the air carrier and not from any public official. Rodriguez’s concern seems to be well founded in light of entries in the Federal Register indicating that air carriers report itinerary information of certain passengers to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which then maintains that information in the TECS system." "Because the departure information set forth in the TECS-II document may not have been “produced by public officials during the ordinary course of their duties,” and because DHS refused to explain how that information came to be recorded in the TECS system, we question whether the January 21, 2005, departure information set forth in the TECS-II document is entitled to a presumption of reliability. " The court then noted that even if the document was presumptively reliable, it could not imagine, in light of the documentary and testimonial evidence submitted by Rodriguez-Quiroz, what else he could have done to rebut that presumption. The court remanded to allow Rodriguez-Quiroz to present evidence challenging the reliability of the Form I-213.
The full text of Rodriguez-Quiroz v. Lynch can be found here: