Daily US Times: On Thursday, the US supreme court offered new hope to thousands of long-term immigrants in American seeking to avoid deportation in a ruling that faulted the federal government for improperly notifying a man who came to the US from Guatemala to appear for a removal hearing.
The justices overturned a lower court’s ruling that had prevented Agusto Niz-Chavez from pursuing his request to cancel the attempted expulsion based on the length of time he had lived in the US. He lives in ths US state of Michigan with his family after entering the US illegally in 2005.
The justices decided, in a 6-3 decision that divided the high court’s conservative bloc, that federal immigration law requires authorities to include all relevant details for a notice to appear for a hearing in the court in one document rather than sending the information across multiple documents.
While a technical issue, the decision could affect hundreds of thousands of immigration cases.
In the ruling, Neil Gorsuch wrote: “In this case, the law’s terms ensure that, when the federal government seeks a procedural advantage against an individual, it will at least supply him with a single and reasonably comprehensive statement of the nature of the proceedings against him,”
Gorsuch was joined by the three liberal justices of the US supreme court as well as the conservative justices Amy Coney Barrett and Clarence Thomas.
In a dissent, Brett Kavanaugh, joined by Samuel Alito and John Roberts, said the ruling was “perplexing as a matter of statutory interpretation and common sense”.
The Cornell University immigration law professor Stephen Yale-Loehr said that the ruling upends years of practice by the US Department of Homeland Security and in the short term will slow down the number of people placed in immigration proceedings.
Yale-Loehr added that for many “it does give them a second chance to try to prove that they qualify for cancellation of removal and other forms of relief”.