Immigration challenges can be complex and daunting, particularly for individuals facing deportation or removal proceedings. This article aims to provide comprehensive legal resources and guidance to address immigration challenges, with a specific focus on the 212(c) waiver and related relief options. As an experienced immigration and criminal defense attorney practicing in New York and New Jersey, I am well-versed in the intricacies of immigration law. In this article, we will explore various aspects of immigration challenges, from fundamental concepts like citizenship and Green Cards to more specific forms of relief from deportation.

Understanding Basic Immigration Concepts


Citizenship is the fundamental status that grants individuals certain rights and privileges within a country, including the right to reside and work there indefinitely. It is typically acquired through birth or naturalization, a formal legal process by which non-citizens become citizens of the United States.

Green Card (Permanent Resident Card)

A Green Card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, is proof of an individual’s lawful permanent residency in the United States. It grants the holder the right to live and work in the country. Green Card holders enjoy many of the same rights as U.S. citizens but are not eligible to vote in federal elections.

Exploring Relief from Deportation

Relief from deportation is crucial for individuals facing removal proceedings. Here are some common forms of relief:

  1. Cancellation of Removal: This relief is available to certain non-permanent residents who have been in the United States for a specified period and can demonstrate exceptional hardship to U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident family members if deported.
  2. Asylum: Individuals who fear persecution in their home country due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group may be eligible for asylum.
  3. Adjustment of Status: Certain individuals, such as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, may be able to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident, thereby avoiding deportation.
  4. 212(c) Waiver: Historically, the 212(c) waiver provided relief for lawful permanent residents with certain criminal convictions. Although this waiver is no longer available, understanding its history can be crucial for those with older deportation cases.

The 212(c) Waiver: A Historical Perspective

The 212(c) waiver was a vital tool for lawful permanent residents facing deportation due to certain criminal convictions. However, its availability was significantly limited by the 1996 Immigration Act. It is essential to note that the 212(c) waiver is no longer available for new cases, but individuals with older cases may still benefit from it.

Navigating Post-212(c) Waiver Options

Since the 212(c) waiver is no longer available for new cases, individuals facing deportation should explore alternative relief options:

Post-Conviction Relief

Obtaining post-conviction relief through criminal court proceedings can be a lifeline for those facing deportation due to criminal convictions. This may involve vacating or modifying the original conviction to eliminate its immigration consequences.

Pardons and Clemency

Seeking a pardon or clemency from a governor or the President may be an option for individuals with criminal convictions that make them deportable.

Other Forms of Relief

Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney is crucial to identify any potential forms of relief that may apply to a specific case. This may include U-visas, T-visas, or waivers based on extreme hardship.


Addressing immigration challenges after the 212(c) waiver requires a deep understanding of immigration law and the specific circumstances of each case. This article has provided an overview of fundamental immigration concepts, relief options, and post-212(c) waiver strategies. However, it is essential to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to navigate the complexities of individual cases effectively. By seeking legal resources and guidance, individuals facing deportation can better navigate the immigration system and work toward achieving a favorable outcome.

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