MD Immigration Attorney

Cancellation of Removal Granted to JM Client after Months in ICE Custody

Baltimore Immigration Attorney

Maryland Immigration lawyer  Himedes Chicas, successfully represented his client, a Jamaican national, before the Baltimore Immigration Court in an application for cancellation of removal. Mr. Chicas’ client, a longtime Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) was placed into removal proceedings on account of two older convictions for drug possession and two older convictions for possession of paraphernalia. After being denied during his bond review by the immigration judge, the prospect for relief from removal appeared dire because of his ineligibility based on the stop-time rule. The stop-time rule, which was implemented by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), bars cancellation eligibility to individuals that, among other reasons, committed certain criminal offenses within seven years of having been admitted as an LPR. During the pendency of the client’s case, however, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals published a favorable decision regarding the retroactive application of the stop-time rule. Indeed, thanks to the excellent appellate advocacy by JM’s Immigration Of-Counsel team, Ivan Yacub and Tamara Jezic of the Yacub Law Office, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that stop time rule cannot be applied retroactively to crimes before the enactment of IIRRIA. See Jaghoori v. Holder, 772 F.3d 764 (4th Cir. 2014). The decision could not have come at a better time for the JM Client. Although the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advocated a very narrow reading of the Jaghhori case and argued that the JM client could not benefit from the Jaghhori Court’s holding, the immigration judge ultimately agreed with Mr. Chicas’ arguments and found that the JM client was in fact cancellation eligible. The Court further agreed that the client, who had been in detention for over six months, had shown rehabilitation and had strong equities that merited a favorable exercise of discretion. The JM Client was released from immigration detention and was able to reunite with his two U.S. citizen children, mother, aunts, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

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