Argued: January 31, 2019
from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia, at Richmond. M. Hannah Lauck, District
Jill Koenig, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Richmond,
Virginia, for Appellant.
Taylor Young, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY,
Alexandria, Virginia, for Appellee.
C. Kamens, Federal Public Defender, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL
PUBLIC DEFENDER, Alexandria, Virginia, for Appellant.
Zachary Terwilliger, United States Attorney, Alexandria,
Virginia, S. David Schiller, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES
ATTORNEY, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellee.
MOTZ and QUATTLEBAUM, Circuit Judges, and DUNCAN, Senior
GRIBBON MOTZ, CIRCUIT JUDGE
Jose Benjamin Guzman-Velasquez returned to the United States
after being deported, the government charged him with the
crime of illegal reentry. Guzman moved to dismiss the
indictment, relying solely on United States v.
Mendoza-Lopez, 481 U.S. 828 (1987), which held that an
administrative removal proceeding marred by due process
defects that foreclosed judicial review could not serve as a
basis for criminal conviction. The district court denied
Guzman's motion. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
December 31, 1998, Guzman, a citizen of El Salvador, entered
the United States without authorization. That same day, the
federal government initiated removal proceedings. An
immigration judge granted Guzman voluntary departure; when he
failed to timely depart, the grant converted into a removal
a year later, in response to a series of earthquakes,
Attorney General John Ashcroft designated El Salvador for the
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. See 66
Fed. Reg. 14, 214, 14, 214 (Mar. 9, 2001). TPS "allows
eligible nationals of a foreign state to temporarily remain
in the United States during the pendency of that state's
designation." Cervantes v. Holder, 597 F.3d
229, 231 (4th Cir. 2010). Once granted, the government
"shall not remove" an individual with TPS. 8 U.S.C.
§ 1254a(a)(1)(A). Salvadorans were eligible for TPS if
they "ha[d] been 'continuously physically
present' in the United States since March 9, 2001,"
"ha[d] 'continuously resided' in the United