United States Immigration and Nationality Act
The term "extreme hardship" is mentioned in a number of statutes of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1952 and amended a number of times over the past sixty years. The terms "extreme hardship" and "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" are not synonymous but obviously different from each other.
Under the INA, effects of certain grounds to deportability and inadmisibility can be waived by immigration officers under the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security or by immigration judges under the U.S. Attorney General. Their decisions can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and then reviewed by authorized federal judges. Several waivers are available by the statute of immigration codes while some other require showing "extreme hardship" potentially caused to a qualifying family member (the US citizen or legal permanent resident's close relatives) of the defendant (person excluded from admission or being removed).
- Matter of Cervantes, 22 I&N Dec. 560, 565 (en banc) (BIA 1999) ("As we have stated in other cases involving discretionary relief, extreme hardship is not a definable term of fixed and inflexible meaning, and the elements to establish extreme hardship are dependent upon the facts and circumstances of each case.").
- Matter of Montreal, 23 I&N Dec. 56, 64 (BIA 2001) (en banc) ("This case presents a good example of the difference between the 'extreme hardship' and the 'exceptional and extremely unusual hardship' standards."); Matter of Anderson, 16 I&N Dec. 596 (BIA 1978) ("While political and economic conditions in an alien's homeland are relevant factors in determining extreme hardship..., they do not justify a grant of relief unless other factors such as advanced age, severe illness, family ties, etc. combine with economic detriment to make deportation extremely hard on the alien or the citizen or permanent resident members of his family.").
- See generally ;