Becoming a United States citizen can be completely life changing for an immigrant. While most individuals obtain lawful permanent residency through naturalization after having an employment-based or family-based green card for five years, there are other manners in which an individual can be granted citizenship.
A year ago, a mother of three children was terrified when it looked as though she would be deported from the U.S. to Mexico. She was terrified that the state would take her children from her, not only because of the anxiety of separation but also because the middle child has an extenuating medical condition that requires the mother's attention.
Deportation proceedings against the woman began when she was arrested on a traffic violation. There was no evidence that the woman was a poor mother, or a criminal. The mother knew that she could not take her children to Mexico, and the stress associated with the proceedings was taking its toll.
Thankfully, this mother got the ultimate Christmas gift shortly before the holiday. An immigration judge granted the woman's "cancelation of removal" request, which means that because the mother lived in the United States for 10 years while demonstrating her upstanding moral character, and showed that if she were forced back to Mexico, her child, a U.S. citizen, would suffer undue hardship, the mother was granted status as a legal resident.
The mother and her children are overjoyed; the change is their demeanor is readily apparent. The mother says of the judge's decision, "This has been like a Christmas gift. We can celebrate Christmas together."
Source: Chicago Muckrakers, "Undocumented Life: One year later, an immigrant gets a Christmas wish," Maria Zamudio, Dec. 18, 2012
- There are many immigrants in the Washington, D.C. area that are facing similar anxieties. Our firm has experience assisting these individuals. For more information, please refer to our Washington, D.C. naturalization and citizenship page.