A client had been in the U.S. for many years illegally. She first came to the U.S. in the 1990s and joined her husband’s asylum case. Later, her husband’s NACARA case was approved and he advised her to return to El Salvador and wait for her visa (this was COMPLETELY INCORRECT). The client did not know this was bad advice and so returned to El Salvador. Her husband then attempted to abandon her in El Salvador!
After this, the client returned to the U.S. where she raised her children and family and lived a quiet life. Years later, she came to our office seeking help to see if she could qualify for any relief.
NACARA is available to certain citizens of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. If eligible, an applicant can apply for “suspension of deportation” or “cancellation of removal” and obtain a “green card” (US Lawful Permanent Residence). This law and also benefit certain “qualified family members.”
- Section 203 of NACARA (“NACARA 203”) applies to certain individuals from Guatemala, El Salvador, and the former Soviet bloc countries who entered the United States and applied for asylum by specified dates or registered for benefits under the settlement agreement in the class action lawsuit American Baptist Churches v. Thornburgh, 760 F. Supp. 796 (N.D. Cal. 1991) (ABC)
- After October 2000, NACARA also applied to qualified family members and to certain individuals who have been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a permanent resident, U.S. citizen, or by certain NACARA 203 beneficiaries.·
- Section 203 of NACARA allows qualified individuals to apply for suspension of deportation or for cancellation of removal (“NACARA 203 relief”) under the standards similar to those in effect before the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.
After reviewing the case, Mr. Miller determined that the client DID qualify for NACARA as a “qualified family member” and could seek NACARA even though she was: (1) divorced from her husband, (2) had left the U.S. for a period of time, and (3) had been in the U.S. illegally for many years after returning from El Salvador. The client took our advice and filed for NACARA. After an interview with the Arlington Asylum Office, the client’s case was approved and she was accorded US Lawful Permanent Resident Status.
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