Unpub. BIA Cancellation Victory: Loss of Career in Dance a Factor

"[W]e place significant emphasis on the hardship caused by inability to continue her dance career.  The Immigration Judge concluded that ZZZZ would be unable to continue her dance career (I.J. at 16, 20).  We do not find clear error in this determination.  The Immigration Judge further concluded that the inability to continue with these activities, which the Immigration Judge characterized as extracurricular activities, were not necessary to the well-being [of the family.]  (I.J. at 20-21).  We disagree with the Immigration Judge's characterization of dance career as merely an extracurricular activity and in the assessment of the hardship that would result from the discontinuation of that career.  The record reflects that ZZZZ is a gifted dancer.  As an 11-year-old child she is a professional dancer, employed by an NBA franchise.  Due to her demonstrated aptitude she trains among adults.  Moreover, she dances competitively with two dance schools.  These facts establish she is extremely talented.  This talent has provided her with unusual opportunities.  Because of this talent, and the significant opportunities available to her here, the hardship created by her inability to continue dancing is substantially beyond that which would typically result when a close family member leaves the United States.  ...  Thus, we conclude, based on the specific circumstances present in this case considered in their totality, that ZZZZ would experience exceptional and extremely unusual hardship upon the respondents' departure from the United States.   We therefore affirm the decision of the Immigration Judge granting the respondents cancellation of removal, albeit on a different basis than the Immigration Judge.  For these reasons, we conclude that the respondents have met their burden of showing their removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to their United States citizen child.  The Immigration Judge found that the respondent satisfied the other requirements for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1) of the Act.  We identify no basis in the record to deny cancellation of removal in the exercise of discretion.  Accordingly, we will sustain the respondents' appeal with respect to their argument that the Immigration Judge erred by not finding ZZZZ would experience exceptional and extremely unusual hardship, and hold that they have met their burden of proof to establish eligibility for cancellation of removal under section 240A(b)(1) of the Act." - Matter of X-, Nov. 19, 2012.  [Hats off to Kevin M. Crabtree!]