In immigration law, sometimes it's not about you. Or me. It's about the kids. In the case of Cancellation of Removal, it really is.
I had immigation court this afternoon for a couple, a husband and wife, who have four kids who are all US citizens. They are both good, hard-working people who have lived in the United States for approximately 20 years. But it wasn't about them. It wasn't about them earning the right to stay in the United States.
I once heard a judge explain what "Cancellation of Removal" is, as he was granting it to one of my clients. He said it's not meant to "reward" someone for entering the United States illegally and trying to do immigration his or her own way, by breaking the immigration laws. Instead, "Cancellation of Removal" is a form of relief in immigration court that the law allows a judge to grant as an exercise of mercy on someone because of their family.
In the case today, my clients have four US citizen kids and three of them are what you might call special needs. The youngest one has a brain tumor. So, it's not about them earning their lawful permanent residence. It's about the United States allowing them to remain here to take care of their kids. It's not even about them working hard and contributing to the United States. It's about grace. They made a mistake by entering the United States illegally. Even though they entered the United States illegally, though, the judge can allow them stay because their children are US citizens and need to be here, the kids need their parents to stay and take care of them.
At the end of the hearing, the judge thanked me and the government attorney for a professional presentation. But I can take little credit for this one. My staff and I prepared the applications and the documentation. But the success of this case did not hinge on great lawyering or persuasive speaking, I don't think. I think it hinged on competence, and not dropping the ball. There's nothing wrong with that. But it wouldn't be right for me to pat myself on the back too much for simply helping my clients navigate the process correctly and presenting the overwhelming evidence in an organized fashion. I think I was just fortunate to have the opportunity help these people.