Unpub. BIA 212(c) Victory

Russell Abrutyn writes: "Here is a case that is all about persistence that I thought might be of interest to your readers.  When the case began, the respondent, who had lawfully resided in the U.S. since 1969, appeared ineligible for relief under the then-current law.  He was convicted of an aggravated felony crime of violence following a jury trial.  We argued that (1) the aggravated felony removal ground did not apply to his pre-Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 conviction; (2) IIRIRA’s amendments to the aggravated felony definition did not apply retroactively to him, (3) he is eligible for 212(c) relief, and (4) he can readjust with a 212(h) waiver notwithstanding his aggravated felony conviction.  The Immigration Judge felt constrained by prior precedents from the BIA and 6th Circuit.  While the appeal was pending, the BIA issued Matter of Abdelghany.  The BIA remanded for consideration of his 212(c) application because the fact that he went to trial is no longer a bar to 212(c) eligibility." - Matter of X-, Apr. 9, 2014.