Department of Justice News Release on NACARA (1997 Law)

EOIR News Release on filing under Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA):

U.S. Department of Justice
Executive Office for Immigration Review
Office of the Director
5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2400
Falls Church, Virginia 22041

NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Public Affairs, (703)305-0289 or (703) 305-1188  January 16, 1998
Fax: (703) 605-0365 or (703) 305-0985

EOIR ANNOUNCES TIME FRAME FOR CERTAIN ALIENS TO FILE MOTIONS TO REOPEN TO APPLY FOR SUSPENSION OF DEPORTATION AND CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL

The Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), signed into law on November 19, 1997, provides special rules regarding applications by certain Guatemalan, Salvadoran, and particular former Soviet bloc nationals for suspension of deportation and cancellation of removal.

In addition, NACARA allows eligible aliens who have received final orders of deportation or removal, to file one motion to reopen removal or deportation proceedings to apply for this relief, without regard to the time and number limitations normally imposed upon motions to reopen.

NACARA requires that a time period be designated for filing such motions to reopen beginning no later than 60 days after the enactment of NACARA and extending for a period not to exceed 240 days. The Attorney General has designated the period from January 16, 1998, until September 11, 1998, for eligible aliens to file a motion to reopen under NACARA.

Eligibility Requirements

The following individuals may be eligible to file a motion to reopen to apply for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal under these special rules, if they have not been convicted of an aggravated felony:

      Nationals of

El Salvador

      who:

* first entered the United States on or before September 19, 1990; and

* registered for American Baptist Church (ABC) benefits or Temporary
Protected Status (TPS) on or before October 31, 1991; and

* were not apprehended after December 19, 1990, at time of entry.

Nationals of Guatemala who:

* first entered the United States on or before October 1, 1990; and

* registered for ABC benefits on or before December 31, 1991; and

* were not apprehended after December 19, 1990, at time of entry.

Nationals of El Salvador or Guatemala who applied for asylum with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) on or before April 1, 1990.

Nationals of the Soviet Union, Russia, any republic of the former Soviet Union, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Albania, East Germany, Yugoslavia, or any state of the former Yugoslavia who:

* entered the United States on or before December 31, 1990; and

* applied for asylum on or before December 31, 1991, and

* at the time of filing were a national of any of the countries listed above.

Spouses and children of a person granted suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal who is described under one of the classes 1-4 above.

Unmarried sons and daughters of a parent granted suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal who is defined under classes 1-4 above, if the unmarried son or daughter was 21 years or older at the time the parent was granted suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal. The unmarried sons and daughters must have entered the United States on or before October 1, 1990.

Procedures for Reopening

Eligible aliens may file only one motion to reopen pursuant to NACARA. The front page of the motion and any envelope containing the motion should include the notation “Special NACARA Motion.” The fees for motions to reopen (currently $110) will be waived for eligible aliens.

If an alien has previously filed an application for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal with the Immigration Judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals, he or she must file a copy of that application or a new application with the motion to reopen. If the motion to reopen is granted and the alien has previously filed an application, the alien will not be required to pay a new filing fee for the suspension/cancellation application.

If an alien has not previously filed an application for suspension of deportation or cancellation or removal, the alien must submit a new application with the motion to reopen. Nothing in the new procedures changes the requirements and procedures for paying the application fee for suspension/cancellation after a motion to reopen is granted if such an application was not previously filed. If an alien is required to submit a new application form, the alien should submit an Application for Suspension of Deportation (Form EOIR-40), whether he or she is in deportation or removal proceedings.

Grants of Suspension and Cancellation under NACARA Not Conditional

Applications for suspension of deportation and cancellation of removal granted pursuant to section 203 of NACARA are not subject to the annual limitation on the number of suspension and cancellation grants imposed by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. Therefore, these grants will be made without condition.

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