Originally Posted by ozexpat
And congrats on his yank-ifying. where is he from?
Thanks! He's from Azores, Portugal.
A lot of people were impacted by those changes in 1996. A lot of immigrants found themselves on the slate for deportation, many of them for crimes they committed years and years prior. Most of them had successfully turned their lives around, but for most, it didn't matter. Because the US Constitution does not protect immigrants, they were subject to the retroactive application of the law. It was (and still is) a mess.
And USCIS isn't doing anything to really alleviate the issue, either. If anything, they are looking to close the loopholes that some, like my husband, were using to be able to stay. My husband had his felony vacated due to not having his alien rights read to him at trial. Course, when he was in trouble, there wasn't really a need to read the alien rights because his specific charge would not have resulted in deportation at that time.
In the last couple of years, USCIS has moved to close that loophole and is now saying that, even if your felony was vacated, you *may* still be deported. It was a difficult decision, whether or not to keep him on his LPR card, or to expose himself to deportation by applying for citizenship.
5 years ago, when he applied, he was denied on a technicality. We felt completely sucker-punched. We could have appealed, at a significant cost. We decided to wait the five years and reapply.
We didn't think he'd get it this time either...and were shocked when they approved. We're so so thankful its over with. He never has to worry about being deported again. *phew*