Who looks good in this one? No one.
Francisco Chay Ixcot ("Chay") hops over the border in San Ysidro in 1989 and is immediately busted by the INS. He gives a fake name and says he's from El Salvador. He's held in detention and ordered deported, but he files a Notice of Appeal, and then he's released from detention five days later.
Then a year goes by. Nothing. (Not very impressive or speedy.) Finally, in 1990, the BIA instructs him to file a brief, he doesn't do so, so they dismiss his appeal. So now time to deport him. Nothing happens. For three years.
Then, in 1993, Chay files an affirmative asylum application. Using his real name, this time, and saying he's from Guatamala rather than El Salvador. With new claims. He then goes to Guatamala to marry his fiancee, comes back (again without inspection), and hangs out. For twelve years. During this decade-plus, nothing at all -- absolutely nothing -- happens. Again, impressive.
Finally, in 2005, the INS interviews him and finds him ineligible for certain relief. Then another couple of years pass, with another interview and him adding his wife and child to the application. (See, this is one of many problems with letting things linger. Oh, he's also got another U.S. citizen child at this point, who was born in the U.S. More problems.)
Then, in 2007, another interview. Followed by another two years of nothing. Then, in 2009, the INS finally fingerprints Chay. Discovering his prior deportation, leading to his renewed deportation and, after another couple of years, the present appeal.
You'd think that there'd be more urgency in these things. That someone who the INS knows is present in the United States without authorization would have things resolved in, oh, I don't know, under two decades.
Not so, apparently.
Impressive on all fronts.
P.S. - The Ninth Circuit grants Chay's petition in part and remands. So fear not. The saga will continue.