Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 21.16 (C)

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(C)  Deportability Only.  Those few lawful permanent residents still in deportation proceedings, commenced before April 1, 1997, may be eligible for former “suspension of deportation,” even if the conviction is for an aggravated felony.[123]  Certain Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Nationals of Former Soviet Bloc Countries, Cubans and Nicaraguans[124] are also potentially eligible to apply for suspension of deportation under NACARA,[125] but not if the offense is an aggravated felony.

[123] See § 24.24, infra.

[124] Masnauskas v. Gonzales, 432 F.3d 1067 (9th Cir. Dec. 30, 2005) (rejecting equal protection challenge that NACARA special adjustment should be available to persons not from Nicaragua or Cuba).

[125]  Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), enacted as Title II of the District of Columbia Appropriations Act for fiscal year 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-100, 111 Stat. 2160 (Nov. 19, 1997).   See § 24.12, infra.  For more information about NACARA, see M. Silverman, Winning NACARA Suspension Cases (ILRC 1999), available from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center,  The NACARA provisions discussed here are codified at IIRAIRA § 309(c)(5), as amended by NACARA § 203(a)(1), and IIRAIRA § 309(f), as created by NACARA § 203(b).  See proposed regulation at 8 C.F.R. § § 240.61, 240.65.




Matter of Martinez-Espinoza, 25 I. & N. Dec. 118 (BIA Nov. 4, 2009) (unidentified substance defense under Ruiz-Vidal v. Gonzales, 473 F.3d 1072 (9th Cir. 2007); Matter of Paulus, 11 I&N Dec. 274 (BIA 1965), inapplicable where burden is on noncitizen to show not ineligible for relief by a preponderance of the evidence). NOTE: This may not be true in the Ninth Circuit. See Sandoval-Lua v. Gonzales, 499 F.3d 1121, 1124 (9th Cir. 2007).