Darius Amiri, immigration law chair at Rose Law Group, explains Supreme Court ruling on notice requirement in immigration

By Jayesh Rathod | SCOTUSblog

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a 6-3 opinion in Niz-Chavez v. Garland, reversing a lower court’s decision that had limited access to “cancellation of removal,” an important form of relief for noncitizens in deportation proceedings.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion, adopting a rigid interpretation of a federal statute that requires the government to serve a “notice to appear” in order to trigger the “stop-time” rule. That rule can foreclose access to immigration relief by preventing noncitizens from accruing the time required for eligibility. According to the majority, in order to trigger the stop-time rule, the government must issue a single immigration charging document with various pieces of required information, including the date and time of the hearing. The majority rejected the government’s contention that a series of documents could together comprise the required notice, noting that the plain language of the law, as well as its structure and history, indicate a single document is required.

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“In an unusual voting lineup, the Supreme Court’s three liberal justices joined Justice Gorsuch, Thomas, and Barrett to hold that the government must serve an immigrant with a completed Notice to Appear in order to trigger the “stop-time rule,” which can limit an immigrant’s access to relief from removal proceedings.’

“Don’t confuse Judge Gorsuch with a liberal judge or an immigrant advocate, but rather a critic of bureaucracy, as he wrote in his opinion: “If the government finds filling out forms a chore, it has good company.”

Darius Amiri, Rose Law Group Immigration Law Dept. Chair

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