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Appeals Court Rules for Donawa in Fight for Cancellation of Removal

Thumbnail image for usgavel.jpgImmigrants in the United States face a number of challenges, including repressive state laws, confusing federal immigration statutes and policies, and an unsettled attitude among the American populace regarding immigration. One of the more controversial aspects of the immigration debate, which immigration attorney have been fighting to change, is what to do with those immigrants who have committed a crime. Americans are now debating, among other things, whether immigrants who have been convicted of a crime should immediately be subject to deportation, regardless of the kind of crime committed and the immigrant’s connection to their community and the country. This question recently received the attention of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Donawa v. U.S. Attorney General was a case which centered on whether the petitioner, who is a native and citizen of country of Antigua, was eligible for a cancellation of removal petition despite having been guilty of selling a small amount of cannabis – an aggravated felony in the state of Florida. In the court’s decision they sided with the petitioner and agreed that a conviction of possession of cannabis with the intent to sell or deliver under Fla. Stat. 893.13(1)(a)(2) did not constitute a drug-trafficking aggravated felony as a matter of law.

The result was that Donawa, and others who have been convicted under the statute, may yet be able to meet the eligibility requirements for cancellation of removal. This case could be an important building block to a sensible immigration policy in the United States, absent congressional action to clarify the situation. This verdict serves as a rebuke to U.S. attorney general who sometimes overreach in their interpretation of immigration law.

Due to the status of U.S. immigration law, many immigrants can find themselves in confusing situations, which is only compounded by their statuses as documented or undocumented immigrants. In these difficult situations it is highly recommended that you contact a qualified immigration attorney immediately for help. Located in Austin, Texas, Lyttle Law Firm is here to help. Call for a review of your situation us at 512-215-5225.

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