04 May 2011 

GRANTED – CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL FOR DOMINICAN PERMANENT RESIDENT

DESPITE CRIMINAL RECORD, CLIENT IS PERMITTED TO STAY IN THE UNITED STATES AS A PERMANENT RESIDENT WITH HIS FAMILY, RATHER THAN BEING REMOVED TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.

Newark Immigration Court, Tuesday May 3, 2011: 

Cella & Associates prevailed in the defense of a Dominican National (“Respondent”) who has resided in the United States with a “green card” since his entry in 1994 at the age of 12 years. Although he had been a Lawful Permanent Resident (“LPR”) all that time, between the years of 2000 and 2001, he was arrested and convicted of five crimes ranging from receiving stolen property, to burglary, to theft. Then in 2010 while in proceedings, he was arrested in NYC for possession of under 50 grams of marijuana, for which he received a conditional discharge. 

Immediately upon being retained by the Respondent in 2008, the team at Cella & Associates researched and determined that the Respondent was eligible to apply for “Cancellation of Removal for Certain Permanent Residents” under INA Section 240(A)(a). The applications were then prepared and filed. 

In order to qualify for Cancellation of Removal for Certain Permanent Residents, the alien must show that he or she: 

1. Has be a Lawful Permanent Resident for at least five years; 
2. Has resided in the U.S.A. continuously for at least seven years after having been admitted in any status; 
3. Has not been convicted of an “aggravated felony”; and 
4. Warrants a favorable exercise of discretion based upon an analysis of the positive and negative equities in his case. 

In this case, the Respondent’s negative factors included six arrests, with five convictions as described; a determination of possible lack of remorse on the the part of Respondent, the Immigration Judge’s belief that he had not been entirely truthful on his tax returns, as well as other such factors. 

However, his positive factors included his LPR status in the U.S.A. for 17 years, since the age of 12; His being engage to a U.S.Citizen fiance, with whom he has three U.S. Citizen Children. His having worked consistently and help to support his family; the apparent bonding that has taken place between Respondent and his three children; and the relatively minor nature of all of Respondent’s convictions. 

After a full trial on the merits, the Immigration Judge determined that the positive factors outweigh the negative, and granted the case. However the Trial Attorney of the I.C.E. Office of the Assistant chief counsel, (“Prosecutor”), has reserved the government’s right to appeal, which gives him until June 2, 2011 to decide to appeal or not. 

Although this case involved defending a Lawful Permanent Resident, there is another defense of Cancellation of Removal for aliens who do not have legal status but do meet other requirements. 

In sum, congratulations to Respondent and his family, and the legal team at CELLA & ASSOCIATES, LLC who put countless hours into the preparation and prosecution of this case. 

This case was tried by Joseph G. Cella, Esq.

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