The Law Office of Alan Pritchard, PLLC
Attorney at Law · 901-249-8748
Practice Areas Business and Commercial Disputes Breach of Contract Cases Commercial Debt Collection Construction Law/Mechanics' & Materialmens' Liens Evictions Immigration Closely Held or Family Owned Corporations and Shareholders Rights
Memphis, TN Attorney | Immigration Cases | Alan Pritchard

Immigration

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There are several legal options available to non-citizens who have either been placed in removal proceedings or simply wish to seek legal status in the United States. If you need immigration assistance you should consult an attorney with knowledge and experience. Andrew Francisco has that knowledge and experience. Mr. Francisco focuses his practice on the following aspects of Immigration Law:

Asylum/Withholding of Removal

A non-citizen who has been placed in removal proceedings may be eligible for asylum or withholding of removal if the non-citizen has either experienced persecution or has a well-founded fear of persecution in his or her home country, and the persecution is on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Persecution is not specifically defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act. Therefore, courts determine what constitutes persecution on a case-by-case basis. 


Cancellation of Removal

A non-citizen who has been place in removal proceedings may also be eligible for Cancellation of Removal. There are two types of Cancellation of Removal: Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents and Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents.  A non-citizen who is also a non-permanent resident may be eligible for Cancellation of Removal if he or she has a United States citizen spouse, parent, or child.  The non-citizen must have continuously resided in the United States for at least ten years, must have been a person of good moral character throughout that time, must not be subject to criminal bars, and must establish that the non-citizen’s removal would result in “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to the non-citizen’s United State’s citizen spouse, parent, or child. 

Prosecutorial Discretion
A non citizen in removal proceedings may also ask Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) for Prosecutorial Discretion.  ICE may exercise Prosecutorial Discretion in a particular case if the non-citizen’s removal is of low-priority. There are several factors ICE considers when deciding whether to exercise Prosecutorial Discretion, among them the non-citizens criminal history, the non-citizen’s length of presence in the United State, and the non-citizens family ties and ties to the community in the United States.  If ICE chooses to exercise Prosecutorial Discretion, the non-citizen’s removal proceedings will be administratively closed for an indefinite period of time. While a favorable grant of prosecutorial discretion typically will not make a non-citizen eligible for a work permit or any other immigration benefits, it will indefinitely postpone the non-citizen’s removal from the United States.

Family-based petitions
Non-citizens who have United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident relatives may seek Lawful Permanent Resident status through a family-based petition.  U.S Citizens or Permanent Residents may sponsor non-citizen relatives by filing a petition on the non-citizen’s behalf.  If the petition is approved, the non-citizen may then proceed with the necessary steps toward becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident and eventually a United States Citizen.

U-Visas
If a non-citizen has been the victim of a crime in the United States, he or she may be eligible for a U-Visa.  U-Visas may be available to certain non-citizens who have been victims of qualifying criminal activity, have suffered substantial mental or physical harm because of that criminal activity, and have been helpful to law enforcement in the investigation and/or prosecution of the crime.


Abused Spouse Petitions

If a non-citizen has suffered domestic abuse at the hands of a United States citizen spouse, he or she may also be eligible for Lawful Permanent Resident status by filing an abused spouse petition with United States Citizenship and Immigration services.


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) is a special form of prosecutorial discretion available to certain non-citizens who arrived in the United States as children. To be eligible for DACA a non citizen must have came to the United States before he or she reached the age of 16; must have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007; must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; must have been physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and at the time of applying for DACA; must have had no lawful status on June 15, 2012; must be currently in school, have graduated from high school, or obtained a GED; and must not have been convicted of certain crimes.  DACA does not provide lawful status.  However, successful DACA applicants are eligible for work authorization.