19 January 2007


An Immigration Judge in Newark, New Jersey granted Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents to a Circassian man (Respondent) from Jordan.

The Respondent, having entered the United States as a visitor from Jordan in 1991, overstayed his permitted time in the United States. While in the U.S.A., he filed tax returns for every year, purchased a house, has neither been arrested, nor ever received any sort of government benefits. Then, in response to 9/11, adult male individuals from all Islamic countries and North Korea, were required to register with the Immigration Service under the NSEERS Program. The Respondent voluntarily complied and was charged with being removable as an overstay.

After retaining Cella & Associates to defend him in Immigration Court, an application for Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents was prepared and filed.

INA ? 240(b), authorizes Immigration Judges to ?cancel the removal? of certain non-permanent residents, who are inadmissible or removable/deportable from the United States, if the alien: (1) has not been convicted of an aggravated felony; (2) has continuously resided in the United States for not less than ten years; (3) has a permanent resident or U.S. Citizen parent, souse or child, to whom the alien’s removal would cause exceptional and extremely unusual hardship, and (4) is a person of good moral character. It should be noted that Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents under INA ?240(b) has a much higher standard of hardship than Cancellation of Removal for Certain Permanent Residents under INA ?240(a).

In evaluating such applications, Immigration Judges will look to issues of moral character, the basis of the charge of removability, family members in the United States, level of hardship, and will often weigh the positive against the negative equities.

In the case at hand, it was uncontested that the Respondent had continuously resided in the United States for well over ten years, had filed tax returns for 14 years, and had never had any incident with the law. It was also uncontested that the Respondent was the father of one U.S. citizen son, who has consistently been an honor student. The alien also had two other children who had previously been out of status, but had then become permanent residents through his ex-wife.

In deciding this matter, the Immigration Judge, who is said to have a “grant rate” of less than 10% of such applications, informed the alien on the record that CELLA & ASSOCIATES had documented the application extremely thoroughly, and that he would grant the application. The attorney for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), waived his right to appeal, thus making the decision final.

As a result, the Respondent is now a Lawful Permanent Resident of the Untied States, and, after just a few processing steps, will receive his alien registration receipt card (“green card”).

Accordingly to Mr. Cella, “this is what makes our work so rewarding. Here is a man, who has worked hard for 15 years to give his children an American life, education, and opportunity. He has only contributed to American society, and has never shirked his responsibilities or asked for anything in return… It shows that, if someone works hard, obeys our laws, and contributes to our society, the American dream can be his or hers. It also shows that our system, with its thoughtful Judge’s and Trial Attorneys can and does often work. This really does make all our hard work so worthwhile.”

This matter was handled by attorney Joseph G. Cella, and his case managers, Jelena Petric and Kathleen Tecson, all of whom we would like to congratulate for a job well done.

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