Friday, December 07, 2012

Non-LPR cancellation of removal impossible for non-detained until October 2013

Congress has capped the number of people in removal proceedings who can receive cancellation of removal for those who are not legal permanent residents (those who are non-LPR), which is something referred to by the nickname of E-42B relief based on the form number for seeking it.

Around December 5, 2012, immigration judges could no longer grant non-LPR cancellation of removal in non-detained cases because the amount set aside for those awards for October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013 (the 2012-2013 fiscal year) has reached its limit.

For immigrants who could receive protection, courts will likely reschedule their hearings and postpone them until at least October 2013, which causes extra delay and uncertainty for the immigrants.  It could also hurt them because the strength of their case could change between now and when their rescheduled hearing happens.  For example, they might be able today to show exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a child but their son or daughter might be older and no longer a child by the time the rescheduled hearing happens.

For courts, it means a larger backlog of cases that are unresolved.  Congress has the power to increase the number who can receive relief per fiscal year.  Expect a huge rush of hearings in October 2013 as immigrants will not be sure how long it will take to use up all the space for the fiscal year that runs from October 2013 to September 2014.