High Court ruling gives migrants facing hopes of deportation

Boston – Just a few months ago, Lucio Perez moved from a church in western Massachusetts, where he lived for more than three years to avoid deportation.

In March, immigration officials allowed a 40-year-old Guatemalan citizen to temporarily stay in his deportation while insisting on reconsidering his immigration case.

Now, Perez has seen a recent Supreme Court ruling and is trying to help him clear the last hurdle and be officially allowed to stay in what he calls his hometown for more than 20 years. ..

“At this point, I’m very confident that everything is going well,” he recently said from his home in Springfield, Massachusetts. “I’m no longer in danger of being deported. I feel safer now.”

Perez is among the dozens of migrants who want to cancel their deportation because they did not receive proper notice of court proceedings.


In April, the Supreme Court ruled in Nizzhaves vs. Garland that the federal government must provide all the information needed for migrants facing deportation in a single notice.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Department has notified immigrants about the deportation case in two broad parts. The first notice to appear in court and the follow-up notice providing the date, time and place of the procedure.

However, Judge Neil Gorsuch, in his majority opinion, criticized the fragmentary approach for being beyond federal law.

He argued that the problem depended on the shortest words. The 1996 Immigration Act requires the government to issue an “a” notice, suggesting that Congress intends to receive a single document for those facing deportation. There is.


Gorsuch, a conservative judge appointed by former Republican President Donald Trump, said: “But words are the way law limits power.”

Immigration lawyers and advocates who have long complained about the deportation notification process say the ruling affects many immigration cases.

“It’s a headache,” said Jeremy McKinney, a North Carolina lawyer who is the president-elect of the American Association of Immigration Bar Associations. “It was the second time in less than three years that the court had to remind the government that the notice of appearance had to inform people when and where it would actually appear.”

The High Court ruled a similar ruling on the notice of deportation in Pereira v. Session, but he said the 2018 decision was somewhat narrower.


Immigrant activists argue that ICE’s current notification process can cause months to pass between initial notifications and follow-up notifications, causing too many migrants to miss court hearings. I will. Some people do not know until a few years later that they had a deportation hearing and were ordered to be deported by a judge, they say.

It may take months before the true impact of Nizzhaves’ decision is felt, but McKinney and other immigration experts say it is certain to add more cases to the already overloaded immigration court system. I will.

At the very least, he said, the decision would bring new life to cases where migrants were not properly notified, did not appear in deportation cases, and were eventually ordered to leave the country.

It may also benefit the person who issued the deportation notice without any further required details. In fact, in places like Cleveland, Ohio and Arlington, Virginia, immigration lawyers say immigration judges are already abroad if immigrants are issued a notice that the place or date of their first hearing is missing. We accept requests to terminate the expulsion procedure.


Cincinnati-based lawyer Matt Benson estimated that his company alone filed more than 20 such allegations, most of which were approved by judges.

“The court is full of these motions,” he said. “This is currently the primary tool for bypassing delete instructions to clients.”

ICE, which claimed that the notification process was sufficient in the Supreme Court proceedings, said on Friday that one notification from January 2019 provided the necessary information.

In a June memo, ICE lawyers “exercise the prosecution’s discretion” in deciding whether to challenge immigrants seeking to resume immigration proceedings in the light of Nizchaves’ ruling. ..

Meanwhile, Agusto Niz-Chavez, a 30-year-old Guatemalan citizen at the heart of the Supreme Court’s proceedings, says he is waiting for his proceedings to be remanded to the Detroit Immigration Court.


Niz Chavez says he is anxious for it to be resolved. His wife was deported to Guatemala last year and is raising three children in Detroit while trying to balance her work at a local pallet factory.

“My priority right now is to be with my kids,” he said recently by Zoom. “I’m interested in finding a legal path for my wife to return to the United States if she can obtain legal permanent residence in the future.”

In Massachusetts, Perez expects similar results in court.

According to Glenn Formica, the four fathers who entered the country illegally at the age of 17 in 1999 were notified to appear in the immigration court in 2011, but there was no date for his hearing. , Perez’s lawyer.

“This is all that Lucio needs to get a second chance in his case,” he said.

So far, Perez has been on hold for the past three years while living in Amherst’s First Congregational Church, with the help of hundreds of volunteer supporters who helped the Pioneer Valley Workers Center and the group coordinate. I’m back in life.


Long-time landscape architects want to open a store selling Guatemalan clothing and food if given a permanent position.

“I used to feel like a bird in a cage,” Perez said. “Now I’m out of the cage and back in life. I can leave home, go to the store, go to work. I’m really grateful.”

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High Court ruling gives migrants facing hopes of deportation

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