Jose is from Oaxaca, Mexico who entered the United States without proper documents on December 1, 2000. He has continuously resided in the United State and has created a life for himself and his family. He is married to Maria who also entered the United States without documents. They have two minor children born in the USA.

On the night of January 11, 2011, Jose was driving on Nolensville Pike in Nashville, TN and was pulled over for speeding. The police arrested Jose because he did not have a valid driver’s license. In the meantime, Metro Police runs background check on Jose and it appears that he does not have legal status to be in the United States. Therefore, the police put an immigration hold on Jose for deportation.

Jose cannot leave his family that he supports. How can Jose stay in the United States? One option that Jose may have is cancellation of removal.

Cancellation of removal of undocumented individuals allows qualifying individuals with no ability to adjust status via family or employment the means to obtain permanent residence status (green card) in the United States. To become eligible for cancellation of removal, an applicant must establish, among other qualifications, that his or her deportation would cause exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a qualifying relative.

Acquiring cancellation of removal requires an applicant to establish four statutory elements: (1) physical presence in the United States for a “continuous period of 10 years;” (2) good moral character during that period of time; (3) no convictions for certain criminal offenses; and (4) exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the applicant’s spouse, parent, or child who is a citizen of the United States or an individual who is a green card holder.

Therefore, Jose may qualify for cancellation of removal if he could establish four statutory criteria mentioned above and receive his green card in court.

If you should have any immigration questions, please feel free to call our attorneys at Gopal & Pedigo, PC at (615) 497-7563 or (615) 480-8081 and by visiting our website at