Monday, April 18, 2011

AAO Hardship Victory: Nigeria

Bruce Coane writes: "In a decision released this week, by the Administrative Appeals Office of Homeland Security, a Nigerian woman represented by our law firm, won her appeal.  As a result, this mother of five who has resided in the USA for many years, can now achieve legal status. Our client had filed for her green card (lawful permanent residence status) but it was denied because she had been arrested for theft.  She filed for a waiver based on having USA citizen children, but that waiver was denied together with the green card denial.  The client had been arrested in 1988 for theft.  The immigration service denied the green card and waiver in 2008, and an appeal was filed.  In a decision issued on April 13, 2011, the Administrative Appeals Office approved the appeal and granted the waiver to our client.  The appeals office agreed that one or more of our client’s children would suffer extreme hardship if the mother was deported.  In particular, they found that one of the children had ADHD and was depressed, and would have significant “adjustment” issues if her she had to move to Nigeria with her mother.  In addition, the appeals office found it significant that there were travel warnings for USA citizens going to Nigeria.  Both of these foregoing matters weighed heavily on the decision to grant the extreme hardship waiver.  Interestingly, this decision may serve as “precedent” for citizens of Mexico who seek waivers, since there are similar travel warnings for Mexico."

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