DiMaria Wins Green Card for Belorussian Man in Removal Proceedings

Even With Eight Arrests and Four Convictions, Former Refugee, Permanent Resident Wins One Last Chance to Retain His Green Card, and Stay in the United States. Immigration Court, Varick Street, New York City: Jayson DiMaria successfully tried a case for Cancellation of Removal for Certain Lawful Permanent Residents in Immigration Court in Manhattan. The facts of the case are as follows: The Respondent, a 38-year-old man who entered the United States from Belarus (Former Soviet Union), as a refugee 26 years ago, was detained by Immigration Service, and charged with being removable (deportable) from the United States, under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) § 237(a)(2)(B)(i) for “having been convicted of a violation of any law relating to a controlled substance”. As a defense to his charge of removability, Jayson DiMaria, Esq., prepared and submitted an Application for Cancellation of Removal for Certain Lawful Permanent Residents, under INA § 240(a). INA § 240(a) (previously known as § 212(c) relief), authorizes Immigration Judges to “cancel the removal” of permanent residents, who are inadmissible or removable/deportable from the United States, if the alien: (1) has been an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence for not less than five years, (2) has resided in the United States continuously for seven years after having been admitted in any status, and (3) has not been convicted of any aggravated felony. In evaluating such applications, the Immigration Judges will look to issues of moral character, the basis of the charge of removability, family members in the United States, and will often weigh the positive against the negative equities. In the case at hand, the Respondent had resided in the United States since 1980, and having been a lawful permanent resident since that time, had been arrested eight times. Of the eight arrests, four were convictions, all of which involved drug possession, (CDS possession), and all such convictions took place after 2001. Respondent's history of filing tax returns was somewhat sparse, and his employment history had been sporadic. During trial, Jayson DiMaria was able to show that all four of Respondent's convictions occurred during a relatively short period in his life, after his parents had divorced, he had lost his employment, and his mother had been diagnosed with cancer. Moreover, as none of the CDS convictions involved distribution or intent to distribute, but rather involved possession for the sole purpose of personal consumption, the Immigration Judge found that the positive equities outweighed the negative equities, and granted Respondent's application. Having been granted Cancellation of Removal, Respondent will now be released from custody by the Immigration Service. His alien Registration Card, (Green Card), will be returned to him, and he will continue to enjoy lawful permanent resident status in the United States.