Understanding LPR Cancellation
As a legal permanent resident (LPR) living in the United States, you’ve followed all the rules to obtain a green card and are on your way to building a better life for yourself and your family. However, just because you’re in the country legally doesn’t mean that you’re not at risk of being detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and facing deportation. Although this can only happen under certain circumstances, it’s important to understand what LPR removal proceedings look like and how to pursue cancellation of the removal.
To speak with an immigration attorney who can help, call me at M Mathew Law Firm, PLLC. From my offices in Dallas, Texas, I can serve clients in Richardson, Lewisville, Irving, Farmers Branch, Grand Prairie, Garland, and Mesquite.
Can a Legal Permanent Resident Face Removal Proceedings?
Yes, even if you have a green card, you can still face removal proceedings under certain circumstances. Below is a brief list of reasons you may be detained by ICE officials:
You’ve violated the terms of your green card.
Your conditional permanent resident status was terminated.
You committed marriage fraud.
You attempted to smuggle an undocumented immigrant into the country.
You were convicted of a crime of “moral turpitude” (generally more serious crimes, but consult with an attorney to learn if a specific crime falls in this category).
You were convicted of an aggravated felony or drug crime.
What Is a Cancellation of Removal for an LPR?
If you’re being detained by ICE and are at risk for deportation (also called “removal proceedings”), you may be eligible to file for a pardon to cancel deportation (a “cancellation of removal”). This is a one-time opportunity to ask the courts for another chance to remain in the country, but only certain people will qualify to apply. To apply you must:
Have been an LPR for at least five years
Have lawfully lived in the U.S. continuously for at least seven years
Have not been granted cancellation of removal in the past
Have not been convicted of an aggravated felony
Can prove to a judge that you “deserve” to remain in the country
This last requirement is quite vague and can be the trickiest to address. This is where an experienced immigration attorney can be the most useful since they’ll help you gather evidence to show the courts you deserve a second chance and that you should remain in the country.
What to Expect at the Cancellation Hearing
If you’re granted a cancellation hearing, you will sit before an immigration judge who will listen to both your story and an attorney representing ICE. You are also entitled to have an interpreter with you, and it’s always in your best interest to hire a lawyer who can represent you.
A judge may ask you basic questions about your history and your immigration status as well as the reason for the removal proceedings. You will then have to present your case to the judge about why you deserve to remain in the country. This is done by presenting details about your family life, employment, education, community involvement, criminal record, and your plans for the future. You want to show the judge that you are a positive influence in your community and that your deportation would present a substantial hardship for your family.
Work With an Experienced Attorney
If you or a family member is a green card holder who has recently been detained by ICE officials, you should reach out to an immigration attorney immediately. Even if you are facing removal proceedings, there still may be options to remain in the country, but you need to take steps right away. For help in and around the Dallas, Texas, region, contact M Mathew Law Firm, PLLC to schedule an appointment.