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Supreme Court Decision Potentially Affects Thousands of U.S. Non-Residents

| Jun 1, 2021 | Firm News

Recently, the U.S Supreme Court ruled, in a 6-3 decision (Niz-Chavez v. Garland), that the Notice to Appear document is INVALID if it does not contain the date and time of the related court hearing. This is, potentially, very good news for a lot of people who are currently facing deportation or who might face deportation sometime soon.

Traditionally, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent individuals a Notice to Appear which simply informed respondents that the government intends to start removal proceedings against them. Then, later on, respondents would receive a letter stating the date, time, and other important details of the court date.

Why the Supreme Court Ruled The Way It Did

As it turns out, there were some significant problems with that system. Some respondents would never receive that letter, while others received theirs AFTER the court date had passed. As a result, judges would sometimes order a respondent deported without the respondent having his or her day in court. To cut down on these issues and general confusion, DHS is now required to include all important information in the Notice to Appear.

What Does This Mean For Your Immigration Case?

This ruling has consequences for a large number of individuals currently involved in the U.S. immigration system. For one, it will hopefully help those subject to removal proceedings by providing them with information on their court date all at once instead of in a piecemeal fashion. Some other ways it could affect U.S. non-citizens or non-residents are:

  • Allowing those who have already received an invalid Notice to Appear to file a motion for termination or reopening of the removal proceedings;
  • Letting those who have already been deported to take a second look at their cases and, possibly, voiding their deportation order; or
  • Opening up the option for cancellation of removal for many more individuals. This involves the “stop-time” rule. The “stop-time” rule basically says that continuous residence for cancellation of removal purposes is “stopped” as soon as the non-citizen receives a Notice to Appear. However, if you received an invalid Notice to Appear, your continuous residence may not have been stopped. This means that if when you received the invalid Notice to Appear you had not occurred the 10 years of residence, you may now be eligible for cancellation of removal.

Every Case is Different

The Supreme Court issued this ruling less than two months ago. As a result, immigration professionals are still reacting to the ruling and making adjustments. Rotella & Hernandez is staying on top of this development and everything it means for those caught up in the stressful U.S. immigration system. There’s a good chance this could benefit your immigration case, but the only way to know for sure is to talk with our team and let us evaluate your situation. We will do everything possible to help you reach your goals. Call our firm at (305) 596-3618 to schedule your consultation today.