"It's one thing to legally come to the United States as an au pair, fall in love while you're here, marry a citizen, have your spouse die, and then ask to please be allowed to stay. It's another thing to legally come to the U.S., illegally overstay your visa, then marry a citizen -- who's still alive -- and ask to stay. The former's much more sympathetic. The latter looks like fraud; or, at a minimum, risks it.
So maybe we'll let the former stay, if only because we would otherwise look incredibly mean. But being nice to a widow who didn't do anything wrong ain't going to help someone like you, Kambiz. Don't confuse limited acts of kindness as a policy. You're being deported. Affirmed."
That's what Judge Kleinfeld, in a nutshell, says today. And you can see where he's coming from.
In short, there's precedent, and then there's "precedent." Some opinions are, as they sometimes say, pretty much "good for this case only." And recognized as such.