Deportation Prevented: Client Granted Second Green Card Notwithstanding ConvictionPublished: Apr 1, 2010 7:00 am
Our client is a citizen of Jamaica. He immigrated to the United States many years ago and obtained lawful permanent resident status. Unfortunately, shortly after obtaining such status, he was convicted of a crime which did not render him deportable.
Congress then changed the law in 1996 making his crime a deportable offense and providing that the change was retroactive. Our client came to the attention of the Department of Homeland Security, which instituted deportation proceedings against him.
We defended those proceedings by having his United States citizen wife file a petition on his behalf, which was approved, and then we requested adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident for a second time. Although his conviction rendered him deportable, it did not make him inadmissible to the United States because of a provision of law known as the “petty offense exception”.
Adjustment of status applications, which involve persons who are inside the United States, are adjudicated as if the Applicant is outside of the country. We were able to get the Immigration Court proceeding terminated to allow our client to apply for adjustment of status before USCIS, which avoided the expense and uncertainty of a trial. USCIS approved his permanent resident status and issued a new Permanent Resident Card to him.
As a result, our client’s conviction no longer has any adverse immigration consequences, and he is lawfully entitled to live in the United States for the rest of his life and receive his Social Security benefits.