Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 10.72 2. Withholding of Deportation (Restriction on Removal)

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The DHS may not remove a noncitizen from the United States if his or her life or freedom would be threatened in that country because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.[302]  A noncitizen is disqualified from this form of relief if s/he has a “final judgment of conviction” of a “particularly serious crime” (PSC).[303]  If a noncitizen “has been sentenced to an aggregate term of imprisonment of at least 5 years,” s/he “shall be considered to have committed a particularly serious crime.”[304]  See § 24.31, infra.  Counsel may avoid this bar by obtaining aggravated-felony sentences imposed such that the aggregate of all such sentences is less than five years.


[302] 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3)(A).

[303] INA § 241(b)(3)(B)(ii), 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3)(B)(ii).

[304] INA § 241(b)(3)(B), 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3)(B); Matter of Aldabesheh, 22 I. & N. Dec. 983 (BIA 1999) (bar to withholding under INA § 241(b)(3), 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3).