If you are seeking to immigrate to the United States but have a blemish on your record, then you can seek an immigration waiver as you apply for a U.S. visa or green card. An immigration waiver is a “pardon” of sorts that indicates you have already dealt with a situation and still deserve to immigrate to the United States despite a situation in your past.
If you are currently in the U.S. and want to avoid deportation, you may also seek an immigration waiver. For example, if you are convicted of a lower level criminal offense that may result in deportation, you can seek an immigration waiver and stay in the United States.
Some immigration waivers are automatic; however, others are dependent upon the discretion of the USCIS. You should work with an immigration lawyer to obtain an immigration wavier for yourself or a loved one who may be threatened by deportation.