THE BENEFITS OF “HARDSHIP”: HISTORICAL ANALYSIS AND CURRENT STANDARDS FOR AVOIDING REMOVAL
By Curtis Pierce
The humanitarian concept of allowing aliens to obtain immigration benefits by establishing “hardship” exists in many aspects of U.S. immigration law. Often, an alien needs to demonstrate hardship to a close family member who is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. The relative is usually an innocent victim, such as a child born on U.S. soil who has violated no immigration law but stands to suffer greatly if his or her parent is ordered deported.
In 1996, Congress changed the “hardship” standard for suspension of deportation cases. Whereas previously applicants for suspension had to show “extreme hardship,” now, under the new cancellation of removal standard, applicants must show “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to a family member.
This is not, however, the first time that Congress has changed hardship standards. In fact, the history of immigration law going back half a century is marked by shifting hardship standards, as Congress would decide that standards were too lenient or, at times, too strict. Much of the caselaw that developed over time is therefore still relevant for particular types of cases.
The purpose of this article is to provide some perspective for practitioners on the meaning of “hardship” under the immigration laws. It examines the legislative history of various forms of “hardship,” as well as how courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) have tried to define hardship over the years. The article also highlights a series of cases that shed some light on the term “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.”
A SHORT HISTORY OF “HARDSHIP”
The notion of demonstrating hardship to avoid deportation evolved from the Alien Registration Act of 1940, which amended the Immigration Act of 1917 by providing for “suspension of deportation” to aliens whose deportation would result in “serious economic detriment” to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien who was the spouse, parent, or minor child of the deportable alien. If the alien satisfied the requirements under the law, the Attorney General in his or her discretion could approve the alien’s application and submit the case to Congress. If Congress concurred in the Attorney General’s favorable action, the alien’s status was adjusted to that of a permanent resident. In 1940, however, the term “hardship” was not yet in the statute.
The “serious economic detriment” standard was perceived as too lenient by the drafters of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. Therefore, the 1952 Act made the requirements for suspension of deportation substantially stricter by requiring physical residence of not less than five years and a showing that the alien’s “deportation would, in the opinion of the Attorney General, result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the alien or his spouse, parent, or child, who is a citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.” This “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” language is the same now used in current law, as discussed below.
Additional notions of hardship were added by various forms of legislation enacted in 1956, 1957, and 1961. In 1956, Congress required that J nonimmigrant exchange visitors must spend a period of time in a foreign residence before adjusting or changing status. Implementing regulations allowed waivers due to hardship. In 1961, Congress amended the residence requirement by specifically allowing waivers based on “exceptional hardship.” In 1957, Congress passed legislation allowing waivers of some criminal grounds of exclusion on the basis of extreme hardship to the alien’s family members.
The modern version of suspension of deportation came about in 1962, when Congress amended INA § 244(a) to create two categories of applicants. The first category (which included aliens deportable as public charges, aliens who procured a visa by fraud, and others) were eligible for suspension upon showing: (1) seven years of continuous physical presence in the U.S.; (2) good moral character; and (3) “extreme hardship” to the alien or to his or her spouse, parent or child, who is a U.S. citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence (former INA § 244(a)(1)). This is the modern version of suspension, which existed for aliens who were issued an Order to Show Cause (OSC) until March 31, 1997, and still exists for certain beneficiaries of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA). The legislative history to the 1962 legislation stated that the granting of relief would be “predicated on the showing of specified type and degree of personal hardship which might occur in the absence of such relief.”
The 1962 law also created a category for more serious violators, who had to demonstrate: (1) 10 years of continuous physical presence in the U.S.; (2) proof of good moral character; and (3) exceptional and extremely unusual hardship, to the alien or to his or her spouse, parent or child who is a citizen of the U.S. or a permanent resident (former INA § 244(a)(2)). As discussed below, the difference between “extreme hardship” and “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” is murky, but it is clear that Congress envisioned that suspension applicants under the first category (INA § 244(a)(1)) should be treated more leniently.
In 1986, Congress approved a waiver for aliens who are unable to file a “joint petition” for the removal of the conditional basis of residence status, if that status was acquired through marriage. The waiver may be granted if the alien shows “extreme hardship.”
Finally, the comprehensive immigration overhaul legislation of 1996 created new “hardship” standards, and amended existing standards in particular situations. These changes, now part of the INA, are discussed below.
HARDSHIP IN CURRENT LAW
The “extreme hardship” standard for suspension of deportation survived for many years, until the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA). Under the current INA, as amended by the IIRIRA, suspension of deportation has been replaced by “cancellation of removal.” According to INA § 240A(b)(1), the Attorney General may cancel removal in the case of an alien who is inadmissible or deportable from the U.S. if the alien: (1) has been physically present in the U.S. for a continuous period of not less than 10 years immediately preceding the date of such application; (2) has been a person of good moral character during such period; (3) has not been convicted of an offense under INA §§ 212(a)(2), 237(a)(2) or 237(a)(3); and (4) establishes that removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the alien’s spouse, parent, or child, who is a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident.
As this language makes clear, to be eligible for cancellation, an applicant must demonstrate that “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” would be suffered by a qualifying relative if the applicant were removed. With the exception of current applicants for cancellation under NACARA as well as certain battered spouses and children, it is generally no longer possible to obtain relief from removal by demonstrating hardship merely to the applicant.
In addition to providing relief from deportation or removal for long-term residents, establishing “extreme hardship” can provide relief from removal in other contexts as well. It is often the basis of a waiver for certain categories of immigrants and nonimmigrants. According to INA § 212(e), described in historical terms above, an exchange visitor who wishes to adjust or even change status can obtain a waiver of the two-year foreign residence requirement by demonstrating “exceptional hardship” to his or her spouse or child who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
The INA also provides much relief to battered spouses and children. Under INA § 216(c)(4), also noted above, an alien spouse who is unable to comply with conditions for removing his or her conditional residency (by submitting a joint petition and appearing with his or her spouse for a personal interview) may apply for a waiver from this requirement by demonstrating extreme hardship if removed and that “the qualifying marriage was entered into in good faith” but has ended through no fault of the alien or “the qualifying marriage was entered into in good faith” but the alien spouse or child was battered or was the subject of extreme cruelty. Closely related to this section is INA § 204, which allows battered spouses of immediate relatives to file immigrant petitions on their own behalf.
Battered spouses and children who are not beneficiaries of immigrant petitions may apply for cancellation of removal under relaxed rules. Pursuant to INA § 240A(b)(2), an alien who has been battered or subjected to “extreme cruelty...by a spouse or parent who is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident” can apply for cancellation by demonstrating continuous physical presence of at least three years, good moral character, and “extreme hardship to the alien, the alien’s child, or (in the case of an alien who is a child) to the alien’s parent.” To reiterate, unlike other applicants for cancellation, a battered spouse or child needs to prove only three years of continuous residence and is not required to demonstrate “extreme hardship” to a qualifying relative.
Demonstrating hardship can also help certain categories of aliens otherwise inadmissible to the U.S. Under INA § 212(h), aliens who are inadmissible because of certain criminal violations (a crime involving moral turpitude, two or more offenses, prostitution, or “serious criminal activity”) may apply for a waiver of inadmissibility by establishing to the Attorney General’s satisfaction that “the alien’s denial of admission would result in extreme hardship to the United States citizen or lawfully resident spouse, parent, son, or daughter of such alien.”
A hardship standard is also part of the important new three and 10-year bars on admissibility created by the IIRIRA. According to INA § 209(a)(9)(B)(i), aliens who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for periods of over 180 days or over one year are barred for three and 10 years, respectively, from admission. The statute, however provides that this harsh prohibition may be waived if the alien can demonstrate to the Attorney General’s satisfaction that “refusal of admission to such immigrant would result in extreme hardship to the citizen or lawfully resident spouse or parent of such alien.”
WHAT IS “EXTREME HARDSHIP”?
The exact meaning of “extreme hardship” has been a subject of debate for many years, and the BIA and the federal courts have struggled to try to define the term.
According to Matter of O–J–O–, one of the more recent BIA cases to speak on the matter, the elements required to establish extreme hardship are dependent upon the facts and circumstances peculiar to each case. “Relevant factors, though not extreme in themselves, must be considered in the aggregate in determining whether extreme hardship exists.” In each case, the Board held, the trier of fact must consider the entire range of factors concerning hardship in their totality and determine whether the combination of hardships takes the case beyond those hardships ordinarily associated with deportation, e.g., economic detriment due to loss of a job or efforts ordinarily required in relocating or adjusting to life in the native country. Such ordinary hardships, while not alone sufficient to constitute extreme hardship, are considered in the assessment of aggregate hardship, said the BIA. 
In determining whether or not “extreme hardship” exists, the BIA noted in Matter of Anderson that the following factors are relevant: “age of the subject; family ties in the United States and abroad; length of residence in the United States; conditions of health; conditions in the country to which the alien is returnable—economic and political; financial status—business and occupation; the possibility of other means of adjustment of status; whether of special assistance to the United States or community; immigration history; position in the community.”
The U.S. Supreme Court, in INS v. Wang, held that a narrow interpretation of “extreme hardship” is consistent with the “exceptional nature of the suspension remedy.” It should be noted that Wang involved the claim of a middle-class Korean family that had close relatives in Korea, owned significant property and business, and whose allegations of extreme hardship were not “sworn or otherwise supported by evidentiary materials.” Therefore, in spite of its strict holding, Wang may be distinguished from many other cases on its facts.
It is also clear that the trier of fact must consider each relevant factor. Courts have found that the BIA abused its discretion when it failed to consider relevant factors. In Jara-Navarrete v. INS, the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded a matter in which the BIA gave only “cursory treatment” to the applicant’s community ties and family ties in the U.S. The court also stressed that the analysis of hardship to U.S. citizen children must be careful and individualized. “Although the BIA found it appropriate to consider briefly the fact that the children may suffer more hardship than when they were younger, it failed to apply the required individualized consideration.”
In another relatively recent BIA decision, Matter of Pilch, a respondent from Poland with three U.S. citizen children (ages six, five, and four) was found to be ineligible for suspension of deportation. In evaluating the hardship to the children, the Board noted:
although we find that there will be hardship to the children in the event of their parents’ deportation, we do not find that it rises to the level of extreme hardship as required under section 244(a)(1) of the Act....All three children have been exposed to the Polish language by their parents. There is no evidence that the children suffer from any physical or mental disabilities. Moreover, there is no evidence that they would be deprived of educational opportunities if they go to Poland. We also note that the children will have a strong support system of family members when they arrive in Poland, including a brother, grandparents, uncles, and aunts. On this record, we do not find that the children would suffer extreme hardship if they were to reside in Poland with their parents.
Despite these precedents, extreme hardship has remained a difficult standard to pin down. In fact, it would appear that decision makers have had great latitude in determining what constitutes “extreme hardship.” Because every case is unique, decision makers could focus on any number of various factors to justify their finding. If a decision maker were favorably inclined toward a particular respondent, the above case law provided a solid basis for determining that “extreme hardship” existed. On the other hand, if a decision maker were inclined to deny a case, the myriad of factors on which he or she could focus would provide an equally sound justification for determining that “extreme hardship” did not exist.
Interestingly, one BIA case decided 30 years ago touched on how similar the suspension standards of hardship can be. In Matter of Ching, a 55-year-old individual with 20 years of residence in the U.S., who was married to a lawful permanent resident, and who possessed a relatively clean criminal record (with the exception of an old narcotics conviction), was found to have demonstrated “extreme hardship,” and qualified for suspension of deportation. The Board noted that if necessary, it would have found that the applicant had also demonstrated “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.”
WHAT IS “EXCEPTIONAL AND EXTREMELY UNUSUAL HARDSHIP”?
Practitioners currently writing appellate briefs to the BIA on behalf of clients who were denied cancellation of removal have noticed that there is not yet any recent case law interpreting the term, “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship,” as created by the IIRIRA. In the early 1950s, as indicated above, it was necessary to demonstrate “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” when applying for suspension of deportation pursuant to the statute then in effect. There are several BIA decisions from 1953 and 1954 that applied the phrase “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.” While belonging to a different time and a different statutory framework, these early cases can be used to argue that the term does not have to be narrowly construed or strictly applied.
According to Matter of S–, it is necessary to consider several factors in order to determine whether or not “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” exists. The factors include: (1) the length of residence in the U.S.; (2) family ties; (3) the possibility of obtaining a visa abroad; (4) the financial burden on the alien of having to go abroad to obtain a visa; and (5) the health and age of this alien. In Matter of S–, the Board determined that the deportation of a 48-year-old single female from the British West Indies with no close family in her native country “would constitute exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to her, because of the length of time she has lived in the United States, because of the length of time it would take her to obtain a visa in her native country, and because of her limited assets.”
In Matter of U–, the respondent was a 41-year-old native and citizen of the Philippines. He had resided in the U.S. for 16 of the past 23 years and had three U.S. citizen children as well as a U.S. citizen wife. The Board found that “deportation of this alien would result in ‘exceptional and extremely unusual hardship’ to him and also to the four United States citizens dependent upon him for their support, due to their hazardous financial situation, the length of the trip he would be required to make in order to obtain a visa and due to the fact that respondent has spent nearly half his life in the United States.”
Also relevant is Matter of W–, in which the respondent was a 33-year-old native and citizen of the British Virgin Islands. Her husband was a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and their five very young children were U.S. citizens. The respondent testified that if she were deported, her husband would not accompany her to the British Virgin Islands because of “poor employment conditions there.” The Board concluded that the children would suffer “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” if the respondent were deported. “If the respondent is required to leave…, serious hardship, both economic and mental, would be suffered by her, her legally resident alien husband, and their five citizen children. It is concluded from the evidence of record that respondent’s deportation would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to her, to her spouse, and their five citizen children,” the BIA held.
The BIA in Matter of W– was not interpreting the term “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” literally. At first, the Board characterized the hardship to the respondent and her family as “serious hardship.” Presumably in the interests of justice and fairness, the Board held that this “serious hardship” also constituted “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.”
The cases above can be cited to support the proposition that the phrase “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” does not have to be literally interpreted or strictly construed, or at least not more strictly than “extreme hardship.” None of the respondents in the above cases had a debilitating or rare disease that required extraordinary medical care that could only be provided in the U.S. None of the respondents in these cases demonstrated “unusual” circumstances that distinguished their plight from that of many other individuals facing deportation after several years of residence in the U.S. Therefore, the argument can be made that if a respondent meets the other requirements for cancellation of removal, and his or her case is one that otherwise merits the favorable exercise of discretion, an Immigration Judge may determine based on precedent that “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” exists even if he or she has to apply the term liberally to make such a determination.
Even in cases in which suspension was denied, the Board did not insist on a narrow interpretation of “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.” In Matter of P–, the Board did not find that “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” existed where the respondent would have no difficulty in immediately applying for an immigrant visa upon his departure. “In the group of cases now before us which have required interpretation of the meaning of that phrase, we have not found the necessary hardship to exist in cases where the applicant was nonquota or came from a country with an open quota, unless he is almost indigent, or is unable to travel, or for some reason would be unable to secure a visa,” the BIA stated.
In Matter of S–, the Board found that “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” did not exist in the case of a Greek family (husband, wife and adult daughter) whose income would not be “materially reduced” if it had to go back to Greece. “While it is true that these aliens own a home in this country, they also own a home in Greece...while it is true that these respondents have acquired friends and acquaintances in this country, they have no dependents or close family American citizen ties here...no business enterprise would be disrupted by requiring them to leave this country.” If the Board had been intent on calling for a strict and narrow interpretation of “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship,” such an analysis would have been superfluous.
In Matter of W–Y–L–, relief was denied to a Chinese seaman who had deserted his vessel and had no close relatives in the U.S. “He came to this country in 1944 and deserted his vessel notwithstanding the efforts made by this and Allied Governments to keep seamen on ships during the critical period of World War II. Under similar facts and circumstances we have held in the past that suspension of deportation was not warranted.” The language here suggests that relief was denied because of the respondent’s desertion of his vessel and not because he failed to demonstrate “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.”
In one of the few federal appellate decisions interpreting the phrase “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship,” Asikese v. Brownell, the court upheld the deportation of a Greek seaman who had entered the U.S. illegally and then operated a business in Jersey City. The respondent contended that deportation would cause him hardship because he “would lose his business...could not find work in Greece...” The D.C. Circuit relied on the following legislative history for the proposition that “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” should only be found in cases where deportation of the alien would be unconscionable. According to a Senate Report that accompanied the 1952 legislation:
The term “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” requires some explanation. The committee is aware that in almost all cases of deportation, hardship and frequently unusual hardship is experienced by the alien or the members of his family who may be separated from the alien. The committee is aware, too, of the progressively increasing number of cases in which aliens are deliberately flouting our immigration laws by the processes of gaining admission into the United States illegally or ostensibly as nonimmigrants but with the intention of establishing themselves in a situation in which they may subsequently have access to some administrative remedy to adjust their status to that of permanent residence. This practice is grossly unfair to aliens who await their turn on the quota waiting lists and who are deprived of their quota numbers in favor of aliens who indulge in the practice. This practice is threatening our entire immigration system and the incentive for the practice must be removed. Accordingly, under the bill, to justify the suspension of deportation the hardship must not only be unusual but must also be exceptional and extremely unusual. The bill accordingly establishes a policy that the administrative remedy should be available only in the very limited category of cases in which the deportation of the alien would be unconscionable. Hardship or even unusual hardship to the alien or to his spouse, parent, or child is not sufficient to justify suspension of deportation. To continue in the pattern existing under the present law is to make a mockery of our immigration system.
Even with this seemingly tough statement, the BIA, in the 1953 and 1954 series of cases, managed to find remedies for individuals facing hardships if deported.
Apart from the above cases, the only BIA decision to have spoken on the “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” standard in the past 30 years appears to be Matter of Pena-Diaz. In that case, the Board held that the respondent had made the requisite showing of exceptional and extremely unusual hardship where: (1) he had spent almost half of his life in the U.S.; (2) he had been steadily employed; (3) he owned real property; (4) his immediate family members were “well established” as members of society; and (5) his child was undergoing treatment for a congenital heart defect. The record contained numerous affidavits from the applicant’s employer as well as friends, neighbors and law enforcement officials.
THE FUTURE OF HARDSHIP
The legislative history of IIRIRA indicates that Congress once again intended to make the requirements for cancellation of removal stricter than those in the past. The sponsors of the IIRIRA explained it in this way:
The managers have deliberately changed the required showing of hardship from “extreme hardship” to “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to emphasize that the alien must provide evidence of harm to his spouse, parent, or child substantially beyond that which ordinarily would be expected to result from the alien’s deportation. The “extreme hardship” standard has been weakened by recent administrative decisions holding that forced removal of an alien who has become “acclimated” to the U.S. would constitute a hardship sufficient to support a grant of suspension of deportation. See Matter of O–J–O–, Int. Dec. 3280 (BIA 1996). Such a ruling would be inconsistent with the standard set forth in new § 240A(b)(1). Similarly, a showing that an alien’s U.S. citizen child would fare less well in the alien’s country of nationality than in the U.S. does not establish “exceptional” or “extremely unusual” hardship and thus would not support a grant of relief under this provision. Our immigration law and policy clearly provide that an alien parent may not derive immigration benefits through his or her child who is a U.S. citizen. The availability in truly exceptional cases of relief under § 240(b)(1) must not undermine this or other fundamental immigration enforcement policies.
The assertion that O–J–O– held that becoming merely “acclimated” to the U.S. was sufficient to demonstrate “extreme hardship” is debatable. Moreover, this Conference Report leaves certain fundamental questions unanswered: Where do we draw the line between a child who would “fare less well” versus one who would suffer “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship?” Is it even possible to draw such a line in a scientific and non-arbitrary manner? Clearly, no two cases are exactly alike. For example, suppose from a purely objective standpoint that an alien’s U.S. citizen children possessed precisely the same equities and potential hardships as the children in Pilch: the same age, the same economic situation, the same number of family members in the country of parents’ nationality, and other factors. There are nevertheless many subjective factors that could provide a solid basis to distinguish such children from their apparent counterparts in Pilch. Perhaps their personal characteristics are such that it is extremely difficult for them to adapt to change (the testimony of a child psychologist could help establish this). As a result, leaving the U.S. and moving to the country of their parents’ nationality would be far more traumatic to them than to the Pilch children. Therefore, the argument can be made that what constitutes ordinary hardship to one child could quite conceivably constitute “extreme hardship” or even “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to another.
Indeed, the history of hardship in the suspension context demonstrates the importance of looking at the individual facts of each case. When looking at all the factors involved, one will find that many cases actually satisfy the requirement of “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.”
The legislative history explaining “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” in 1996 is no tougher than the legislative history that defined the term in 1952. In fact, the 1952 language, which insisted that relief should only be granted in cases where deportation would be “unconscionable,” was arguably even stricter. Therefore, the BIA decisions from the 1950s interpreting “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” are still good precedent upon which attorneys should rely.
It is hoped that decision makers in 1999 and beyond will approach the phrase “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” as the BIA did in the 1950s: with an open mind, a sense of fairness, and a willingness to apply the term broadly when justice calls for it. It need not be feared that a finding of “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” will be contributing to the “flouting” and “mockery” of our immigration system.
* Curtis Pierce practices immigration law in Los Angeles, California. From 1992–1995, he taught constitutional law at the Sorbonne (University of Paris).
 54 Stat. 670; 8 USC § 451–460 (1940).
 8 USC § 155(c) (1917).
 § 19(c) of the Immigration Act of February 5, 1917, as amended by the Act of June 28, 1940, 54 Stat. 672.
 Harper & Chase, Immigration Laws of the United States 632 (3d ed. 1975).
 H.R. Rep. No. 1365, 82d Cong., 2d Sess., at 62, 63; S. Rep. No. 1137, 82d Cong., 2d Sess., at 25 (1952).
 § 244(a)(2) of Act of June 27, 1952, 66 Stat. 163, amending 39 Stat. 889.
 INA § 212(e), added by Act of June 4, 1956, 70 Stat. 241. See Hake, “Hardship Waivers for J–1 Physicians,” 94–2 Immigration Briefings 13 (Feb. 1994). Congress amended the § 212(e) provisions again in 1970 and 1976. Hake, at 14.
 Act of September 21, 1961, Pub. L. No. 87–256, 75 Stat. 527.
 Act of September 11, 1957, 71 Stat. 639. This provision eventually became INA § 212(h). See Hake, at 13.
 Act of October 24, 1962, Pub. L. No. 87–885, 76 Stat. 1247. See also Harper & Chase, at 636–41; Gordon, Mailman & Yale-Loehr, Immigration Law and Procedure § 74.07.[f] (rev. ed. 1998).
 Aliens from Guatemala, El Salvador, and certain countries in Eastern Europe who meet the requirements may apply for cancellation of removal under the more lenient suspension standards pursuant to § 203 of NACARA, enacted as Title II of the District of Columbia Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1998, Pub. L. No. 105–100, 111 Stat. 2160 (Nov. 19, 1997). See generally Silverman, Joaquin & Fabie, “Implementation of Suspension of Deportation Under NACARA: Analysis and Practice Issues,” 76 Interpreter Releases 229 (Feb. 8, 1999). See also article #1 in this Release.
 Gordon, Mailman & Yale-Loehr, Immigration Law and Procedure § 74.07[f] (rev. ed. 1998).
 INA § 216(c)(4)(A).
 INA § 240A(b)(1). See Wettstein, “The 1996 Immigration Act: New Removal Proceedings, Cancellation of Removal, and Voluntary Departure,” 73 Interpreter Releases 1677 (Dec. 9, 1996).
 § 701(a) of the Immigration Act of 1990, Act of Nov. 29, 1990, Pub. L. No. 101–649, 104 Stat. 4978. See also 8 CFR § 216.5.
 § 40401(a), Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Sept. 13, 1994, Pub. L. No. 103–322, 108 Stat. 1796. See also 8 CFR § 204.2(c).
 INA § 209(a)(9)(B)(v).
 Int. Dec. 3280 (BIA 1996) at 3–4 (quoting Matter of Ige, 20 I&N Dec. 880, 882 (BIA 1994)). In O–J–O–, the Board found that a citizen from Nicaragua who had lived in the U.S. since the age of 13, was educated in the U.S., spoke fluent English, and ran a small trucking business would suffer “extreme hardship” if deported to Nicaragua. A concurring opinion in O–J–O– contains a useful listing of extreme hardship cases over the years. See Matter of O–J–O–, (concurring opinion of Member Holmes). Matter of O–J–O– is discussed in 73 Interpreter Releases 1043 (Aug. 5, 1996). See also Matter of L–O–G–, Int. Dec. 3281 (BIA 1996), discussed in 73 Interpreter Releases 1081 (Aug. 12, 1996).
 450 U.S. 139, 145 (1981). See also Hernandez-Cordero v. U.S. INS, 819 F.2d 558 (5th Cir. 1987) (holding that a court may find that the BIA abused its discretion only in a case “where the hardship is uniquely extreme, at or closely approaching the outer limits of the most severe hardship the alien could suffer and so severe that any reasonable person would necessarily conclude that the hardship is extreme”). See also Gordon, Mailman & Yale-Loehr, Immigration Law and Procedure § 74.07[f] (rev. ed. 1998).
 450 U.S. at 142.
 813 F.2d 1340, 1343–44 (9th Cir. 1986).
 Id. at 1343. See also Cerillo-Perez v. INS, 809 F.2d 1419 (9th Cir. 1987). See generally Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook, 704–05 (1998).
 Int. Dec. 3298 (BIA 1996).
 12 I&N Dec. 710 (BIA 1968).
 Id. at 714.
 5 I&N Dec. 409 (BIA 1953).
 Id. at 410–11.
 5 I&N Dec. 413 (BIA 1953).
 Id. at 415.
 5 I&N Dec. 586 (BIA 1953).
 Id. at 587.
 5 I&N Dec. 421 (BIA 1953).
 Id. at 423.
 5 I&N Dec. 695 (BIA 1954).
 Id. at 696–97.
 5 I&N Dec. 637 (BIA 1954).
 Id. at 638.
 230 F.2d 34 (D.C. Cir. 1956).
 Id. at 35.
 S. Rep. No. 1137, 82d Cong., 2d Sess. (1952).
 20 I&N Dec. 841 (BIA 1994).
 H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 104–828, at 213–14 (1996). See also Wettstein, at 1684.
 This does not necessarily mean that “group-specific” hardship determinations or presumptions are invalid, especially for groups of aliens that have been determined by Congress to per se merit more lenient treatment, such as beneficiaries of the NACARA. See article #1 in this Release.