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AAO 212(i) Hardship Waiver Victory; Domestic Partnership Taken Into Account

May 02, 2013 (1 min read)

"Counsel notes that the applicant's domestic partner of 17 years will suffer emotional and physical hardship due to the applicant's inadmissibility.  However, the AAO may only consider hardship to a qualifying relative.  The AAO may give some consideration to the applicant's relationship as a family tie to the United States.  In this case, however, impacts to the applicant may not be considered except for the indirect impacts they have on qualifying relatives, in this case, the applicant's mother.  The AAO finds it reasonable to accept that the applicant's mother views her son's relationship with his domestic partner as a marriage, and it finds it equally reasonable to expect that she would experience an emotional impact due to her son being separated from his partner.  In addition, as discussed above, it is more than likely that the applicant's mother will experienced a greater degree of emotional hardship based on the particular conditions of her son, the applicant. When this is taken into consideration with other factors heightening the applicant's mother's mental health, the AAO finds that the record demonstrates the applicant's mother will experience uncommon emotional hardship.  When the emotional hardships due to separation are considered in the aggregate with the common impacts of separation, the AAO finds that they rise to the level of extreme hardship. ... The AAO finds that the unfavorable factors in this case include the applicant's false claim to U.S. citizenship and conviction of possession of paraphernalia.  The factors weighing in favor of a discretionary grant include the applicant's long-term residence in the United States, the presence of the applicant's mother and other immediate relatives in the United States, the extreme hardship the applicant's mother would experience due to the applicant's inadmissibility, the impact on the applicant's family ties, including his long-time relationship wilh his domestic partner, and the length of time the applicant has resided in the United States without any additional criminal charges to his record.  Although the applicant's claim to U.S. citizenship is a serious violation of immigration law, the favorable factors in this case outweigh the negative factors, therefore favorable discretion will be exercised." - Matter of X-, Mar. 25, 2013.  [Hats way off to Geri N. Kahn!]