On January 9, 2004, Mr. G (whose true name is withheld out of respect for his right of privacy) was granted a second chance to remain in the United States with his family and obtain his legal permanent resident status. Los Angeles Immigration Judge Henry Ipema approved Mr. G’s application in spite his criminal history. The Department of Homeland Security agreed, waived and their right to appeal this decision.

In 1980 Mr. G entered the United States with his mother at the age of five. Ten Years later, Mr. G’s mother was granted legal permanent residency and subsequently petitioned for her son for legal permanent resident status.

During Mr. G’s adolescent years, while waiting for his green card, he found himself in and out of criminal proceedings ultimately leading to three convictions. He was finally placed in deportation proceedings.

Mr. G’s final approval for legal permanent resident came only after several years of highly contested immigration proceedings. Attorney Marc R. Generazio of Reeves & Associates represented Mr. G. Attorney Generazio established that despite of Mr. G’s criminal record, he remains qualified to become a legal permanent resident, and also established that Mr. G deserved a favorable exercise of discretion under the Immigration and Nationality Act § 212(h).

One of the requirements for a 212(h) waiver to obtain a green card with a criminal record is to establish that removal from the United States would result in extreme hardship to the applicant’s spouse, parent or child who is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. This hardship standard is very difficult to establish and is weighed against the past conduct of the applicant. The decision to grant or deny such application by an Immigration Judge is purely discretionary.

In his evaluation of the case the Immigration Judge considered the potential hardships in the event of removal to Mr. G’s U.S. citizen children and legal permanent resident parents. Attorney Generazio was able to demonstrate convincingly to the Court that Mr. G’s conduct over the past several years showed a complete change in behavior and is now a positive role model for his children and family.

Attorney Generazio of Reeves and Associates commented, “I am pleased that Mr. G was granted the opportunity to continue residing with his family in the United States. I am also pleased that we were able to establish to the satisfaction of the Homeland Security (formerly INS) and to the Immigration court that Mr. G has become and continues to be an exemplary member of the community”.

Written by: Attorneys Robert L. Reeves and Marc Generazio.