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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in cancellation of removal

Posted on in Immigration

Chicago deportation defense attorneys, green card holders, cancellation of removal, DACA recipients, DREAMersAs of this writing, both houses of Congress have failed to pass any comprehensive fix for the lingering question that is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Instituted under President Obama, the program has been under attack since the installation of the current administration, being ‘cancelled’ in September 2017, though currently there is an injunction in place against its disbandment. Nonetheless, the question must be asked—if no fix is passed to grant legal status to the DREAMers, what can they do? Is there any reprieve possible?

Expedited Removal is an Issue

One major concern for many DREAMers is what is referred to as expedited removal. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), passed in 1996, instituted the concept, which permits immigration authorities to arrest and deport those in the country for less than two years without giving them a hearing before an immigration judge (which is required for all others charged with immigration violations). Formerly, this was only enforced within the so-called 100-mile zone, meaning that the interior of the country was a safe zone of sorts. This administration has extended the reach of this procedure to the entire country.

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Chicago deportation defense lawyers, stay of deportation, deportation order, deportation, cancellation of removalMost immigrants who petition for a stay of deportation or removal will do so based on a law they believe helps their case. Sometimes, however, an undocumented person has to depend on what is called a cancellation of removal, which is essentially prosecutorial discretion, allowing him or her to stay in the U.S., though he or she technically lacks the right to remain. Among the requirements that must be demonstrated, the immigrant must show at least “exceptional” hardship to a U.S. citizen if he or she was to be deported. This standard has become all but impossible to meet.

The Requirements

In order to qualify for cancellation of removal under the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA), three requirements must be met. The alien must (1) not have been convicted of certain offenses and generally been a person of “good moral character” during his or her stay in the United States; (2) resided in the U.S. for at least 7 years (or been physically present for 10, if he or she seeks to adjust status); and (3) he or she must establish that his or her removal would result in “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to his or her U.S. citizen (or lawful permanent resident) spouse, parent, or child.

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Exceptional & Extremely Unusual HardshipIf you or someone you love winds up in immigration removal proceedings, there are only a few select ways where it might be possible to avoid that eventuality. One of those is called cancellation of removal. However, unless you are a lawful permanent resident (LPR, or a holder of a ‘green card’), cancellation can be extremely difficult to win. You must be able to prove that your removal would pose an ‘exceptional and extremely unusual hardship,’ which is an extremely high standard to meet.

How Will Your Removal Affect U.S. Citizen Family?

To be blunt, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) cares very little about the inconvenience to an undocumented or non-LPR immigrant. What is more relevant is the potential difficulty to any U.S. citizen family members you may have. For LPRs, the standard is to show that your removal would cause ‘extreme’ hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or children. For non-LPRs, the standard is raised to “exceptional and extremely unusual.”

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DuPage County permanent residence attorneys, Violence Against Women Act, permanent residenceIt is an unfortunate reality that many people in the United States are the victims of violence at the hands of their loved ones. While it is more common for women to experience such treatment, it affects men as well. Sometimes, it can become an issue of survival. If your abuser is a United States citizen or permanent resident, there may be a way out for you. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) permits battered spouses to apply for permanent residence to get away from their abusers (despite the title, both genders are encouraged to apply).

Can Any Immigrant Apply?

Upon its passage in 1994, VAWA only applied to women, though its benefits were later extended to those who identify as male or non-binary. It recognizes the necessity to allow non-citizens who meet the requirements and are the victims of domestic violence a chance to start a new life without their abuser’s presence. However, the immigrant must be either the spouse or child of their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident abuser, or the parent of their U.S. citizen abuser, to qualify under VAWA. You may also file as an abused spouse if your child has been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse.

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aggravated felony, Chicago Immigration LawyersImmigration law is a difficult discipline, especially when it comes to removal issues. A term that is heard very often in questions concerning possible deportation is aggravated felony. However, the experts are somewhat divided on what actually constitutes an aggravated felony, and what its ramifications are in terms of immigration benefits. The answer is complex, but not out of reach.

Definition and History

An aggravated felony is defined in a somewhat slippery fashion in terms of U.S. law. If one tries to search for a specific definition, one finds a list of crimes that fall under the category of aggravated felony, but not a list of criteria that makes the crimes in question aggravated felonies. Even the definition at 8 USC § 1101(a)(43) is simply a list of crimes.

The term ‘aggravated felony’ only appeared in U.S. immigration law in 1988, when modifications were made to the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA). At first, only certain drug crimes and murder were part of the group, but the Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) and other legislation added several more over the next decade. As of this writing, the term has significantly expanded beyond its original definition, which is a source of controversy for multiple reasons.

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