May 3, 2010: Will a Drug Conviction Bar this Person From Residency?

Will a Drug Conviction Bar this Person From Residency?

My husband has been living in the US since 1989. I am a U.S. citizen. In 2007 we got married. After many attempts to legalize his status – through misfortune and/or misguidance it has not happened. He just received notice to appear in immigration court for deportation, but no date has been set. He does have 2 misdemeanor charges, one from 1994 and one from 2000. Unfortunately, one is a possession charge.

I need an honest answer – what are our chances of proving to the judge he should be allowed to stay? If we leave willingly, would he be allowed to visit his parents (who live here in the United States)? We are trying to weigh all our options.
— Anonymous

Before being able to tell you what your husband’s chances are at successfully defending him in deportation proceedings, there are many questions that need answers.

Based on the issues presented in your question, the following are an example of some questions: did he enter with or without a visa? What efforts, exactly, were made to legalize his status in the past? What were the charges and the outcomes of each criminal case? If he was convicted of possession, what type of substance was it and how much was there? What are the allegations in the Notice to Appear? Has he ever been in deportation proceedings before? Besides you, does he have any other United States citizen relatives such as parents and children?

These types of questions, and many others, should be asked at an initial consultation appointment by an immigration attorney. Depending on the answers to all of the questions posed, there may be relief available to your husband. Also, whether your husband is able to visit his parents in the United States should he decide to voluntarily depart depends on his immigration and/or criminal history. With the answers, an experienced immigration attorney should be able to explain the law to you and the applicable defense, if any, to your husband’s deportation. Any ‘legal advice’ that you may receive without appropriate questioning about your husband’s immigration and/or criminal history would be classified as being ‘misguided’ once again.

It would be wise to consult with an experienced immigration attorney with extensive knowledge in immigration law the deportation process.

Michael Shane and Evan Shane, Immigration Attorneys