Carlos Batara – Immigration Lawyer header image

What Happens To U.S. Citizen Children Forced To Relocate With Deported Immigrant Parents?

Immigrant Children Reading Books

It makes many sick to their stomach and want to gag.

It can take years, if ever, for the agony to subside.  The hurt gets into your soul, lingering in the backdrop to your daily activities, and there’s no running away from the incessant mental anguish.

Deportation is unforgiving.

For spouses of immigrants, the moment a husband or wife is ordered to be deported is similar to the fateful juncture when a loved one is declared deceased.

They must instantly begin to address and undergo emotionally painful adjustments in their lives they were hoping to never experience.

Deportation – like death – rearranges lives permanently.
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The New I-601 Hardship Waiver Guidelines – What Are The Differences?


To say that I was puzzled when I initially viewed the new USCIS policy guide on proving hardship for I-601 waivers is to understate my reaction.

It wasn’t based on the law.

Several months ago, when USCIS announced its intention to create hardship guidelines, I went on record that I did not perceive any major additions or substantive changes forthcoming. After closer review of the new guidelines, my position remains unchanged.

On the contrary, I feared some of the proposed language could make it tougher to win hardship waivers. [continue reading…]

8 Tips For Winning Your I-601 Waiver And Family Unity Hardship Case


Early in my career, at a seminar for new attorneys, a judge gave me a piece of advice that has guided me in representing immigrants at various courts, agency interviews, and immigration appeals to this day.

The advice, though simple, was profound.

Good lawyers, said the judge, prepare in advance. They know their evidence before their hearings start. They maximize their clients’ chances for success. [continue reading…]

The BIA Is Wrong About Exceptional And Extremely Unusual Hardship


“Congress,” Justice Stevens once wrote, “like Humpty Dumpty, has the power to give words unorthodox meanings.”

So does the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Like exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.

I have few doubts, based on my experience as a San Diego immigration attorney in the 1990s, a Gingrich-led Congress wanted to impose a higher standard.

Yet, as Humpty Dumpty would tell both Congress and the BIA, the chosen words fall short. [continue reading…]

The Power Of Discretion In I-601 Hardship Waiver Decision-Making


Certain immigration inquiries happen too often.

Immigrants, not being fully informed, put their trust in programs with risks they do not suspect.

Like the I-601 waiver process.

A few days ago, a woman in early 30s visited my office to find out if I could help her husband.

She explained that he traveled to his home country for a green card interview, but he was not allowed to return to the United States. Despite assurances to the contrary, her husband’s request for an I-601 waiver had been denied.

When I asked what her husband told her, she said that he could not prove enough hardship. She did not know what that really meant.

Neither did I. [continue reading…]

How To Survive The I-601 Extreme Hardship Waiver Process


If at first you don’t succeed, I was taught by my mother, try and try again.

This attitude is one of the most important mindsets for many U.S. spouses trying to help immigrate their spouse born in another country.

Especially those who need to win a hardship waiver to remain together as a family. [continue reading…]

A Missed Opportunity For Meaningful Reform Of I-601 Family Unity Waivers


The proposed I-601 changes do not go far enough.

In early January, when the administration announced plans to modify the unlawful presence waiver process, the dreams of many immigrants soared.

I was cautiously optimistic, having been through several ups and downs with the Obama administration on immigration reform. [continue reading…]

Decoding The Provisional I-601 Family Unity Waiver Regulations


I am not ready to jump on the I-601 bandwagon.

I am not against streamlining the permanent residency application process.

I am not against promoting family unity.

I am not against revamping the unlawful presence bars.

Rather, I am opposed to the premature applause for the current I-601 proposal. [continue reading…]

Why The Cancellation Of Removal Hardship Standard Is Unconscionable

This blog post is Part 4 of our Mini-Series On Cancellation Of Removal for non-lawful permanent residents, an important component of our deportation defense services.

The limits of prosecutorial discretion have been revealed.

According to the New York Times, only 16% of immigrants facing deportation hearings at immigration court are being granted temporary refuge from immediate prosecution.

The suspended hearings can be reopened at any time.

Deportation proceedings in one year, two years, three years can begin anew. [continue reading…]

Immigration Hardship: A Historical View

This blog post is Part 3 of our Mini-Series On Cancellation Of Removal for non-lawful permanent residents, an important component of our deportation defense services.

“Torn Apart,” blared the Riverside Press Enterprise. A front page story, the article described a family’s ordeal, whose mother was deported to her home country a few weeks earlier.

The woman, age 31, had lived in the United States since age 2. She was brought here by her parents, along with her brother, in 1979 with valid border crossing cards. The family was supposed to leave. Instead, they stayed.

Today, the woman is married to a U.S. citizen. She has four U.S. citizen children, three from a previous relationship. Her parents are U.S. citizens.

Before she was deported, she sought Cancellation of Removal. She lost at her immigration trial, and then lost an appeal.

The story is common to most immigrant communities across the nation. [continue reading…]