Application for a green card with a special hardship waiver

George P. Mann

Practice Area:Immigration

Outcome:successful

Description:Client arrived in the United States as a refugee from Sierra Leone in 2000. In 2004 he brought his wife and three children from a refugee camp in Ghana to the United States. In 2006 he and his wife had a child. In 2006, client was convicted in federal court of selling and transporting counterfeit retail items. Client served 10-months in jail for this conviction. This conviction led to his arrest by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in October 2007. Soon after, client was placed in removal proceedings at the Detroit Immigration Court. At that point client retained our services. We realized that client, as a refugee was eligible to apply for a special hardship waiver in order to obtain his green card and the green cards of his wife and children, whose immigration status was tied to our client’s status. In February 2008, the Immigration Judge denied our client’s request for a green card with a special waiver, despite the compelling testimony by our client and his wife and children would suffer serious hardship were our client, and by extension, his wife and children deported from the United States. This case was immediately appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals, based on the fact that the Immigration Judge improperly assessed the hardships to our client and his family. In August 2008, the Board of Immigration Appeals remanded our client’s case back to the Immigration Judge in order to reassess the hardship to our client’s family and to allow our client to introduce new and compelling evidence about his family’s continuing hardship. In November 2008, again, the Immigration Judge denied our client’s application for a green card along with a special hardship waiver. Again, we appealed this decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals. This appeal was based upon legal errors which the Judge had committed in the prior trials, which affected the outcome. In May 2009, the Board of Immigration Appeals agreed with our arguments and remanded the case back to the Immigration Judge in order to correct her errors and directing her to look carefully at the hardship evidence our client had presented. In July 2009, after a brief hearing, the Immigration Judge granted our client his green card with a special waiver. Soon after, our client was released from detention after a 20-month stay. Within months, our client’s wife and children also received their green cards. In 2014 our client and his wife and children will be eligible to apply for United States citizenship.