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Board of Immigration Appeals Allows Legal Permanent Residents Access to Deportation Waivers

There are a number of issues that immigrants residing in the United States continue to be challenged with. Even after obtaining lawful permanent residency, immigrants can still be subjected to removal proceedings. The United States lawful permanent residency status allows immigrants to live and work within the U.S. permanently but it does not prevent them from being deported back to their country of origin should they fail to meet certain conditions of this status. There have been numerous cases of legal permanent residents being deported as a result of being convicted of certain crimes. Recently, the Board of Immigration Appeals has amended their position in deporting legal permanent residents who have had criminal records provided that they are able to prove that their removal from U.S. territory would cause problems for their family members who are residing in the country.

The Board of Immigration Appeals has decided to allow legal permanent residents who are facing removal proceedings to avail of a waiver for deportation if they are able to prove that their family members would experience hardship as a result of their removal from the U.S. For years, many legal permanent residents could not apply for a waiver for deportation. Cases involving deportation inevitably resulted in a legal permanent resident’s separation from the family community that they were able to establish over the duration of their stay in the U.S.

The Board of Immigration Appeals’ decision to reverse their stance on waiving removal proceedings stem from a lack of consensus with 9 courts of appeals when it comes to carrying out immigration rulings. 9 courts of appeals have found that there are immigrants who need to be protected from deportation, especially if the removal proceedings would subject an immigrant’s legal U.S. resident family members to problems. More often than not, the verdict of deportation carries long term consequences for legal permanent residents.

The case of Mr. Hanif is a clear example of a situation that many immigrants have been exposed to. Mr. Hanif stayed in the U.S. for more than 25 years when the Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings against him. The Department of Homeland Security found a criminal conviction that resulted in Mr. Hanif’s incarceration for a period of 4 months to be sufficient grounds for his deportation. Given the intractable stance of the Board of Immigration Appeals at the time, Mr. Hanif was not able to secure a waiver for deportation. Now, a shift in the interpretation of immigration law will allow immigrants who share similar conditions with Mr. Hanif to access a benefit that he and many others before him were never able to experience.

The shifts in the interpretation of immigration law and the complexities of removal proceedings require the knowledge of a capable team of lawyers. If you or someone you know needs legal counsel regarding immigration issues, please contact the immigration attorneys at Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas by visiting our website or calling us today at 512-215-5225.

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