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Ambiguity in a criminal conviction can mean relief from removal

When an immigrant is convicted of certain offenses, including controlled substance offenses, they can be deported and removed from the United States. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard a case in which an immigrant petitioned to avoid removal. She claimed that she was not, in fact, convicted of a crime that disqualifies her from remaining in the U.S.

Redesignation of pot conviction not enough to prevent removal

California's Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, not only legalized adult marijuana use but also provided some relief for people who had previously been convicted of marijuana crimes. Among other things, some marijuana-related felony convictions can be "redesignated" as misdemeanors after the sentence has been served. What does this mean for immigrants?

Facing removal from the US for a crime of violence?

When an immigrant is convicted of a crime of violence, they are subject to mandatory removal from the U.S. They are also ineligible for many kinds of relief from removal. If this has happened to you, however, there may still be hope.

How US nationals from American Samoa can obtain full citizenship

If you're from American Samoa, you probably know that you're a national, but not a full citizen, of the United States. You are eligible for a U.S. passport and can live and work in the U.S., but you're missing out on a number of other privileges of U.S. citizenship, such as:

Was your immigration testimony lost in translation?

Last December, the head of the immigration courts told all immigration judges to start using phone interpreters for any language but Spanish. The reason given was budgetary. Yet immigration judges and attorneys complain that telephone interpretation has serious drawbacks that can lead to unfair results. They also claim it is adding to the immigration court backlog.

In about-face, Trump extends humanitarian program for Liberians

Since 2007, Liberian immigrants have been allowed to live and work legally in the U.S. through a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. These programs allow nationals of certain countries to remain in the U.S. when conditions in their countries temporarily prevent them from safely returning there -- or when their countries are unable to handle their return.

Federal case over Special Immigrant Juvenile status moves forward

Special Immigrant Juvenile status is offered by the United States to immigrant minors who are under the jurisdiction of a state juvenile court due to abuse, neglect or abandonment by a parent. Under federal law, immigrant youth generally qualify for the status as long as they:

USCIS considers closing its international field offices

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced that it is in "preliminary discussions" to close its international field offices and delegate their work to the State Department or U.S.-based USCIS personnel.

Asylum seekers in expedited removal can sue in federal court

The case involved an asylum seeker who claims to have been wrongly denied asylum after a "credible fear" hearing before an asylum officer. But U.S. immigration law allows "expedited removal" of recent arrivals caught within 100 miles of the border, providing very limited opportunity to appeal. Now, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that he should have access to a federal court hearing before his deportation.

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