Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 18.9 E. Eligibility for Relief

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Generally, the exceptions and waivers specifically related to criminal grounds of inadmissibility include the Petty Offense,[120] Youthful Offender,[121] and political offense exceptions to inadmissibility (which if applicable mean the noncitizen is not inadmissible), and waivers under INA § § 212(h),[122] 212(d)(3),[123] and former INA § 212(c).[124]  Other forms of relief, such as cancellation of removal[125] and political asylum,[126] apply regardless of whether the noncitizen is subject to grounds of inadmissibility or deportability.  For more information on forms of relief, see Chapter 24, infra.


                Most of the exceptions and waivers of inadmissibility are mainly concerned with crimes of moral turpitude.[127]  These forms of relief are not immediately concerned with aggravated felony offenses,[128] firearms offenses[129] or domestic violence offenses,[130] since these offenses to not trigger grounds of inadmissibility, except to the extend that they may qualify as CMTs or drug offenses.  Conviction of an aggravated felony offense may also bar any chance of obtaining relief from inadmissibility.[131]  It is generally difficult to obtain relief from inadmissibility for a controlled substances offense.[132]

[120] See § 20.29, 20.31, infra.

[121] See § 20.30, infra.

[122] See § 24.29, infra.

[123] See § 24.30, infra.

[124] See § 24.28, infra.

[125] See § § 24.3-24.6, infra.

[126] See § § 24.7, 24.18, 24.31, infra.

[127] See Chapter 20, infra.

[128] See Chapter 19, infra.

[129] See Chapter 23, infra.

[130] See Chapter 22, infra.

[131] See § 19.98, infra.

[132] See § 21.16, infra.



Sixth Circuit

Lacy v. Gonzales, __ F.3d __, 2007 WL 2372304 (6th Cir. Aug. 21, 2007) (noncitizens who enter the United States pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program waive any rights to contest removal other than on a basis of asylum).


See Legal Action Center Litigation Issue Page summarizing litigation regarding the government's interim rule allowing USCIS to adjudicate the adjustment application of "arriving aliens" in removal proceedings. It provides links to selected pleadings and other related resources. AILA Doc. No. 10080969.