Former INA section 212(c) permitted the Attorney General to admit into the United States, in his discretion, certain lawful permanent residents who had an unrelinquished domicile of seven consecutive years. The seven years can be accumulated up to the point that the administrative order becomes final.
For section 212(c) relief to be available in deportation proceedings there had to be a ground of deportation that was comparable to a ground of exclusion. In 1991 the Board found that an alien deportable for a drug-related aggravated felony which could also form the basis for excludability under the drug-related section is not precluded from establishing eligibility for relief. In the more recent cases the Board has taken a conservative approach when defining an inadmissibility “statutory counterpart” to a deportation statute that constituted an aggravated felony charge.
In removal proceedings the Immigration Judge, balances the positive and negative factors in arriving at his decision whether or not to exercise his discretion favorable and grant relief. A showing of heightened equities is required if the alien has an extensive criminal record. A showing of rehabilitation is one factor to be considered.
For some lawful permanent resident aliens with convictions entered prior to April 1, 1997, INA section 212(c) is the statute of choice for relief. Aliens with certain convictions are ineligible to apply for relief under section 212(c) if they pled or entered into a plea agreement on or after November 29, 1990 and prior to April 24, 1996 or between April 24, 1996 and prior to April 1, 1997.
Contact Baurkot & Baurkot today to learn more about Former Section 212(c) relief. Call (484) 544-0022 for a free, confidential consultation.