Threat of Deportation
Even as a lawful permanent resident (LPR), you may face possible deportation and removal. This process is accomplished through an immigration court and is outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
While the thought of deportation is quite daunting, there are measures you can take as an LPR that may allow for a successful defense against removal. The process varies depending on whether you are classified as a permanent or nonpermanent resident.
Options for LPRs
According to INA, the cancellation of removal for certain permanent residents may be effectuated by the Attorney General, who has the ability to cancel removal in the case of an alien who is inadmissible or deportable from the U.S. if the alien:
- Has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence for not less than 5 years;
- Has resided in the U.S. continuously for 7 years after having been admitted in any status; and
- Has not been convicted of any aggravated felony.
Options for Nonpermanent Residents
If the alien is a nonpermanent resident, the Attorney General may cancel deportation if the alien:
- Has been physically present in the U.S. for a continuous period of not less than 10 years immediately preceding the date of such application;
- Has been a person of good moral character during the period;
- Has not been convicted of any offense under certain sections of INA; and
- Establishes that removal would result in an exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the alien's spouse, parent, or child, who is a citizen of the U.S. or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
Battered Spouse or Child
The Attorney General may also choose to forego deportation proceedings in the event that the alien at issue is one who is considered to be a battered spouse or child. Specifically, the alien would need to show:
- That she has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a spouse or parent who is or was a U.S. citizen (or is the parent of a child of a U.S. citizen and the child has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by such citizen parent);
- That she has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a spouse or parent who is a LPR (or is the parent of a child of an alien who is or was a LPR and the child has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by that LPR parent); or
- That she has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a U.S. citizen or LPR whom she intended to marry, but whose marriage is not legitimate because of that U.S. citizen's or LPR's bigamy.
In addition to showing one of these three circumstances, the battered alien must also show that:
- She has been physically present in the U.S. for a continuous period of not less than 3 years immediately preceding the date of the application;
- She has generally been a person of good moral character during the time period;
- She is not inadmissible or deportable for reasons stated in parts of INA or has been convicted of an aggravated felony; and
- Her removal would result in an extreme hardship for herself, a child, or a parent.
Should You Contact an Attorney?
If you are facing deportation or removal proceedings, contact an experienced immigration attorney who understands the law and will ensure that your rights are being protected. To schedule an initial consultation with our Tucson, Arizona, lawyer, call (520) 882-8852, toll free at (877) 882-8852 or email the Tucson, Arizona, Law Offices of Matthew H. Green.