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BIA Precedent Chart - CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL

BIA PRECEDENT DECISIONS

42B (NON-LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENTS) - DOWNLOAD

 

CONTINUOUS RESI

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DENCE

Matter of Mendoza-Sandino, 22 I&N Dec. 1236 (BIA 2000)

Pursuant to section 240A(d)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(d)(1) (Supp. II 1996), an alien may not accrue the requisite 7 years of continuous physical presence for suspension of deportation after the service of the Order to Show Cause and Notice of Hearing (Form I-221), as service of the Order to Show Cause ends continuous physical presence.

Matter of Campos-Torres, 22 I&N Dec. 1289 (BIA 2000)

(1) Pursuant to section 240A(d)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §1229b(d)(1) (Supp. II 1996), an offense must be one “referred to in section 212(a)(2)” of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2) (1994 & Supp. II 1996), to terminate the period of continuous residence or continuous physical presence required for cancellation of removal.

(2) A firearms offense that renders an alien removable under section 237(a)(2)(C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(C) (Supp. II 1996), is not one “referred to in section 212(a)(2)” and thus does not stop the further accrual of continuous residence or continuous physical presence for purposes of establishing eligibility for cancellation of removal.

Matter of Romalez, 23 I&N Dec. 423 (BIA 2002)

For purposes of determining eligibility for cancellation of removal pursuant to section 240A(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8U.S.C. §1229b(b) (Supp. IV 1998), continuous physical presence is deemed to end at the time an alien is compelled to depart the United States under threat of the institution ofdeportation or removal proceedings.

Matter of Cisneros, 23 I&N Dec. 668 (BIA 2004)

Pursuant to section 240A(d)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(d)(1) (2000), an alien’s period of continuous physical presence in the United States is deemed to end when the alien is served with the charging document that is the basis for the current proceeding.

Service of a charging document in a prior proceeding does not serve to end the alien’s period of continuous physical presence with respect to an application for cancellation of removal filed in the current proceeding. Matter of Mendoza-Sandino, 22 I&NDec. 1236 (BIA 2000), distinguished.

Matter of Avilez, 23 I&N Dec. 799 (BIA 2005)

(1) Where an alien departed the United States for a period less than that specified in section 240A(d)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1229b(d)(2)(2000), and unsuccessfully attempted reentry at a land border port of entry before actually reentering, physical presence continued to accrue for purposes of cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(A) unless, during that attempted reentry, the alien was formally excluded or made subject to an order of expedited removal, was offered and accepted the opportunity to withdraw an application for admission, or was subjected to some other formal, documented process pursuant to which the alien was determined to be inadmissible to theUnited States.

(2) The respondent’s 2-week absence from the United States did not break her continuous physical presence where she was refused admission by an immigration official at a port of entry, returned to Mexico without any threat of the institution of exclusion proceedings, and subsequently reentered without inspection.

Matter of Bautista-Gomez, 23 I&N Dec. 893 (BIA 2006)

The provision in 8 C.F.R. § 1003.23(b)(3) (2005) that an applicant for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b) (2000), must demonstrate statutory eligibility for that relief prior to the service of a notice to appear applies only to the continuous physical presence requirement and has no bearing on the issues of qualifying relatives, hardship, or goodmoral character.

Matter of Ramirez-Vargas, 24 I&N Dec. 599 (BIA 2008)

A parent’s period of residence in the United States cannot be imputed to a child for purposes of calculating the 7 years of continuous residence required to establish eligibility for cancellation of removal under section 240A(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a)(2)(2006).

Matter of Reza-Murillo, 25 I&N Dec. 296 (BIA 2010)

A grant of Family Unity Program benefits does not constitute an “admission” to the United States under section 101(a)(13)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(13)(A) (2006), for purposes of establishing that an alien has accrued the requisite 7-year period of continuous residence after having been “admitted in any status” to be eligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(a)(2) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a)(2) (2006).

Matter of Velasquez-Cruz, 26 I&N Dec. 458 (BIA 2014)

An alien's departure from the United States following a criminal conviction for illegal entry under section 275(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a)(1) (2012), interrupts the 10-year period of continuous physical presence required to establish eligibility for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1) (2012).

Matter of Fajardo-Espinoza, 26 I&N Dec. 603 (BIA 2015)

A grant of Family Unity Program benefits does not constitute an “admission” to the United States under section 101(a)(13)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(13)(A) (2012), for purposes of establishing that an alien has accrued the requisite 7 years of continuous residence after having been “admitted in any status” to be eligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(a)(2) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a)(2) (2012). Matter of Reza, 25 I&N Dec. 296 (BIA 2010), reaffirmed. Garcia-Quintero v. Gonzales, 455 F.3d 1006 (9th Cir. 2006), not followed.

Matter of Ordaz, 26 I&N Dec. 637 (BIA 2015)

A notice to appear that was served on an alien but never resulted in the commencement of removal proceedings does not have “stop-time” effect for purposes of establishing eligibility for cancellation of removal pursuant to section 240A(d)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(d)(1) (2012).

Matter of Castrejon-Colino, 26 I&N Dec. 667 (BIA 2015)

(1) Where an alien has the right to a hearing before an Immigration Judge, a voluntary departure or return does not break the alien’s continuous physical presence for purposes of cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1)(A) (2012), in the absence of evidence that he or she was informed of and waived the right to such a hearing. Matter of Avilez, 23 I&N Dec. 799 (BIA 2005), clarified.

(2) Evidence that an alien who had the right to a hearing before an Immigration Judge was fingerprinted and/or photographed before being allowed to voluntarily depart is not enough, in itself, to demonstrate a waiver of the right to a hearing or to show a process of sufficient formality to break continuous physical presence.



Matter of Garcia-Ramirez, 26 I&N Dec. 674 (BIA 2015)

(1) Where an alien has the right to a hearing before an Immigration Judge, a voluntary departure or return does not break the alien’s continuous physical presence for purposes of cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1)(A) (2012), in the absence of evidence that he or she was informed of and waived the right to such a hearing, regardless of whether the encounter occurred at or near the border. Matter of Avilez, 23 I&N Dec. 799 (BIA 2005), clarified.

(2) Evidence that an alien who had the right to a hearing before an Immigration Judge was fingerprinted and/or photographed before being allowed to voluntarily depart is not enough, in itself, to demonstrate a waiver of the right to a hearing or to show a process of sufficient formality to break continuous physical presence. Matter of Castrejon-Colino, 26 I&N Dec. 667 (BIA 2015), followed.


CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS

Matter of Garcia-Hernandez, 23 I&N Dec. 590 (BIA 2002)

(1) An alien who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude that falls within the “petty offense” exception in section 212(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II) of the Immigration andNationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II) (1994), is not ineligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1)(C) (Supp. IV1998), because he “has not been convicted of an offense under section 212(a)(2)” of the Act.

(2) An alien who has committed a crime involving moral turpitude that falls within the“petty offense” exception is not ineligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(B) of the Act, because commission of a petty offense does not bar the offender from establishing good moral character under section 101(f)(3) of the Act, 8 U.S.C.§ 1101(f)(3) (Supp. IV 1998).

(3) An alien who has committed more than one petty offense is not ineligible for the “petty offense” exception if “only one crime” is a crime involving moral turpitude.

(4) The respondent, who was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude that qualifies as a petty offense, was not rendered ineligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1) of Act by either his conviction or his commission of another offense that is not a crime involving moral turpitude.


Matter of Gonzalez-Silva, 24 I&N Dec. 218 (BIA 2007)

An alien whose conviction precedes the effective date of section 237(a)(2)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(E) (2000), is not “convicted of an offense under” that section and therefore is not barred from establishing eligibility for cancellation of removal by section 240A(b)(1)(C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1)(C) (2000).


Matter of Almanza-Arenas, 24 I&N Dec. 771 (BIA 2009)

(1) An alien whose application for relief from removal was filed after the May 11, 2005, effective date of the REAL ID Act of 2005, Division B of Pub. L. No. 109-13, 119 Stat. 231 (“REAL ID Act”), has the burden to prove that he satisfies the applicable eligibility requirements and merits a favorable exercise of discretion under section 240(c)(4)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(c)(4)(A) (2006), and must provide corroborating evidence requested by the Immigration Judge pursuant to section 240(c)(4)(B), unless it cannot be reasonably obtained.

(2) An alien whose application for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1) (2006), is governed by the provisions of the REAL ID Act, and who has been convicted of an offense under a divisible criminal statute, has the burden to establish that the conviction was not pursuant to any part of the statute that reaches conduct involving moral turpitude, including the burden to produce corroborating conviction documents, such as a transcript of the criminal proceedings, as reasonably requested by the Immigration Judge. Sandoval-Lua v. Gonzales, 499 F.3d 1121 (9th Cir. 2007),distinguished.

(3) An alien who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude has been “convicted of an offense under” section 237(a)(2) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2) (2006), and is therefore ineligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(C), regardless of his status as an arriving alien or his eligibility for a petty offense exception under section 212(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. §1182(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II) (2006).


Matter of Cortez, 25 I&N Dec. 301 (BIA 2010)

(1) An alien who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude for which a sentence of a year or longer may be imposed has been convicted of an offense “described under” section 237(a)(2) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2) (2006), and is therefore ineligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1)(C) (2006), regardless of the alien’s eligibility for the petty offense exception under section 212(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II) (2006).Matter of Almanza, 24 I&N Dec. 771 (BIA 2009), clarified. Matter of Gonzalez-Zoquiapan, 24 I&N Dec. 549 (BIA 2008); Matter of Gonzalez-Silva, 24 I&N Dec. 218 (BIA 2007); and Matter of Garcia-Hernandez, 23 I&N Dec. 590 (BIA 2003), explained.

(2) In determining which offenses are “described under” sections 212(a)(2), 237(a)(2), and 237(a)(3) of the Act for purposes of section 240A(b)(1)(C) of the Act, only language specifically pertaining to the criminal offense, such as the offense itself and the sentence imposed or potentially imposed, should be considered.

(3) The respondent’s misdemeanor conviction for welfare fraud in violation of section 10980(c)(2) of the California Welfare and Institutions Code rendered her ineligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(C) of the Act, because it was for a crime involving moral turpitude for which she could have been sentenced to a year in county jail and was therefore for an offense “described under” section 237(a)(2) of the Act.


Matter of Bustamante, 25 I&N Dec. 564 (BIA 2011)

The bar to cancellation of removal in section 240A(b)(1)(C) of the Immigration andNationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1)(C) (2006), which precludes an alien who has been convicted of an offense under section 212(a)(2) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2) (2006),from establishing eligibility for relief, may not be overcome by a waiver under section212(h) of the Act.


Matter of Pina-Galindo, 26 I&N Dec. 423 (BIA 2014)

An alien is ineligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1)(C) (2012), if he or she falls within the scope of section 212(a)(2)(B) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(B) (2012), as having been convicted of two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentences imposed were 5 years or more.


Matter of Flores-Abarca, 26 I&N Dec. 992 (BIA 2017)

The crime of transporting a loaded firearm in violation of title 21, section 1289.13 of the Oklahoma Statutes is categorically a firearms offense under section 237(a)(2)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(C) (2012), even though the term "transporting" is not included in the Act, because section 237(a)(2)(C) is broadly construed to encompass all types of firearms offenses.


EXCEPTIONAL AND EXTREMELY UNUSUAL HARDSHIP


Matter of Monreal, 23 I&N Dec. 56 (BIA 2001)

(1) To establish “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship,” an applicant for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b) (Supp. V 1999), must demonstrate that his or her spouse, parent, or child would suffer hardship that is substantially beyond that which would ordinarily be expected to result from the alien’s deportation, but need not show that such hardship would be “unconscionable.”

(2) Although many of the factors that were considered in assessing “extreme hardship” for suspension of deportation should also be considered in evaluating “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship,” an applicant for cancellation of removal must demonstrate hardship beyond that which has historically been required in suspension of deportation cases involving the “extreme hardship” standard.

(3) In establishing eligibility for cancellation of removal, only hardship to qualifying relatives, not to the applicant himself or herself, may be considered, and hardship factors relating to the applicant may be considered only insofar as they might affect the hardship to a qualifying relative.


Matter of Andazola, 23 I&N Dec. 319 (BIA 2002)

(1) The respondent, an unmarried mother, did not establish eligibility for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b) (2000), because she failed to demonstrate that her 6- and 11-year-old United States citizen children will suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship upon her removal to Mexico.

(2) The factors considered in assessing the hardship to the respondent’s children include the poor economic conditions and diminished educational opportunities in Mexico and the fact that the respondent is unmarried and has no family in that country to assist in their adjustment upon her return.


Matter of Recinas, 23 I&N Dec. 467 (BIA 2002)

(1) The respondent, a single mother who has no immediate family remaining in Mexico, provides the sole support for her six children, and has limited financial resources, established eligibility for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8U.S.C. §1229b(b) (2002), because she demonstrated that her United States citizen children, who are 12, 11, 8, and 5 years old, will suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship upon her removal to her native country.

(2) The factors considered in assessing the hardship to the respondent's children include the heavy burden imposed on the respondent to provide the sole financial and familial support for her six children if she is deported to Mexico, the lack of any family in her native country, the children's unfamiliarity with the Spanish language, and the unavailability of an alternative means of immigrating to this country.


Matter of Calderon-Hernandez, 25 I&N Dec. 885 (BIA 2012)

An applicant for cancellation of removal seeking to establish exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to his or her child is not required to provide an affidavit and other documentary evidence regarding the child’s care and support upon the alien’s removal if the child will remain in the United States with another parent, even if the other parent is in this country unlawfully. Matter of Ige, 20 I&N Dec. 880 (BIA 1994), clarified.


Matter of J-J-G-, (BIA 2020) The Board of Immigration Appeals Makes Extreme Hardship Burden Higher.


Matter of J-J-G-, 27 I&N Dec. 808 (BIA 2020)

(1) The exceptional and extremely unusual hardship for cancellation of removal is based on a cumulative consideration of all hardship factors, but to the extent that a claim is based on the health of a qualifying relative, an applicant needs to establish that the relative has a serious medical condition and, if he or she is accompanying the applicant to the country of removal, that adequate medical care for the claimed condition is not reasonably available in that country.


(2) The Immigration Judge properly determined that the respondent did not establish eligibility for cancellation of removal because he did not demonstrate that his qualifying relatives will experience hardship, including medical, economic, and emotional hardship, that rises to the level of exceptional and extremely unusual.


GOOD MORAL CHARACTER

Matter of Ortega-Cabrera, 23 I&N Dec. 793 (BIA 2005)

(1) Because an application for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1229b(b)(1) (2000), is a continuing one for purposes of evaluating an alien’s moral character, the period during which good moral character must be established ends with the entry of a final administrative decision by the Immigration Judge or the Board of ImmigrationAppeals.

(2) To establish eligibility for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1) of the Act, an alien must show good moral character for a period of 10 years, which is calculated backward from the date on which the application is finally resolved by the Immigration Judge or the Board.


Ineligible Aliens


Matter of G-D-M-, 25 I&N Dec. 82 (BIA 2009)

An alien who entered the United States pursuant to a crewman’s visa for the purpose of obtaining employment as a crewman is statutorily ineligible for cancellation of removal under section 240A(c)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(c)(1) (2006). Matter of Goncalves, 10 I&N Dec. 277 (BIA 1963), followed.


QUALIFYING RELATIVES

Matter of Portillo-Gutierrez, 25 I&N Dec. 148 (BIA 2009)

A stepchild who meets the definition of a “child” under section 101(b)(1)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(b)(1)(B) (2006), is a qualifying relative for purposes of establishing exceptional and extremely unusual hardship for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(D) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1)(D) (2006).

Matter of Morales, 25 I&N Dec. 186 (BIA 2010)

A stepparent who qualifies as a “parent” under section 101(b)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(b)(2) (2006), at the time of the proceedings is a qualifying relative for purposes of establishing exceptional and extremely unusual hardship for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1)(D) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1)(D) (2006).

Matter of Dorman, 25 I&N Dec. 485 (A.G. 2011)

The Attorney General vacated the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals and remanded for the Board to make specific findings with regard to the respondent’s eligibility for cancellation of removal.



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