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Citizenship as Defense to Deportation

Our client, a Canadian National, entered the United States in 1997 as a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card). Unfortunately, she was arrested and convicted in 1998 of possession of cocaine. It was not until 2010, when she traveled outside the United States and returned, that she was flagged as an immigration violator for having been convicted of a drug crime. Due to the timing of the conviction, there was no defense to deportation other than proving that she was eligible for United States citizenship and demonstrating that there are hardship and compelling factors in her case to close her deportation proceedings to let her apply for citizenship.

The Miami Immigration Judge denied our initial request to allow her to apply for citizenship. We appealed this decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals and they decided in our client’s favor. Once sent back to the Miami Immigration Judge, he reversed his own decision and found that there were compelling circumstances to warrant closing her deportation proceedings and allowing her to apply for citizenship.

Today, May 15, 2015, our client took the Oath of Citizenship and received her Naturalization Certificate.