Can an illegal immigrant still get a green card if they were deported 20 years ago?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an illegal immigrant still get a green card if they were deported 20 years ago?

My mother was deported almost 20 years ago but came back in illegally. We’ve been
trying for years to get her green card since we are all U.S. citizens, but have
had no success. When we tried for the first time 10 years ago, we had to stop and
we waited for a new law that could help us. We tried again last year with a
horrible lawyer and he only made matters worse for her. We need real help with
results. She hasn’t left the country in 20 years.

Asked on September 13, 2016 under Immigration Law, California


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

But if she was deported and reentered unlawfully, there is really no way that she can legalize her status now under the current laws.  There is no forgiveness clause.  Under the current immigration laws, she is not eligible to legalize her status within the US.

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