At the end of February 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a ruling that, in effect, abolished the “comparable grounds” standard that the Board had been using for the past few decades. Comparable grounds specifically came into play when the BIA was making decisions regarding whether immigrants who had been convicted of crimes would be eligible for deportation relief (as stipulated in Section 212 (c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(c)). 

The BIA’s revocation of comparable grounds has opened up deportation relief opportunities for many. Here’s what the new rules can mean for you.

The BIA’s revocation of comparable grounds has opened up deportation relief opportunities for many. Here’s what the new rules can mean for you.

Up until last month, this standard had been used to deny many immigrants the opportunity to seek relief from deportation after being convicted of crimes unless there was a “substantial equivalence” between the grounds for removal and the grounds for inadmissibility. This standard, which the BIA set forth in and carried out since its rulings in the Matter of Blake  and the Matter of Brieva, has since been revoked, which has effectively reopened deportation relief for many immigrants in the U.S.

Deportation Relief for LPRs: Who Qualifies

Here’s what this revocation of the BIA’s comparable grounds can mean for you or a loved one if you were convicted of a crime. Convicted immigrants who are lawful permanent residents (LPRs) of the U.S. will once again be eligible for deportation relief as long as they:

  • Were not convicted of a weapons-related crime
  • Had, up until their conviction, been continuously living in the U.S. for a minimum of 7 years
  • Do not have a history of having served at least 5 years in prison for their criminal conviction
  • Do not pose a security threat to the U.S.

This is good news for LPRs who may have a criminal history, as they have more options for seeking deportation relief and staying with their families in the U.S.

Los Angeles, California Immigration Lawyers at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C.

At the Hanlon Law Group, P.C., our Los Angeles immigration attorneys have more than 15 years of experience successfully representing clients in various types of immigration cases, including those that involve the most basic immigration applications to those associated with extremely complicated federal court litigation. Our firm offers state-of-the art technology to deliver these services efficiently while also providing each of our clients with old-fashioned personal service. That means you can count on your case progressing as quickly as possible while feeling confident that your Hanlon Law Group lawyer will answer your questions quickly, clearly and honestly.

To learn more about our citizenship, immigration and deportation defense services contact our Los Angeles immigration attorneys today by calling (626) 765-4641 or (866) 489-7612 or by emailing us using the form at the upper right-hand side of the screen. From our office in Pasadena, we serve clients throughout the Los Angeles area, across the state of California and from around the world.

We offer free, confidential initial consultations to provide potential clients with expert advice regarding their immigration law needs. Additionally, we are able to provide immigration legal services in various languages, including in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Bahasa Indonesian, Tagalog and Fukienese.