Back on Jan. 12, the U.S. Supreme court agreed to hear the case involving Wescley Fonseca Pereira, an immigrant who faced deportation to his native Brazil. Last week, the court ruled 8-1 in favor of Mr. Pereira against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who overturned the First Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision that the stop-time rule was in effect when the Brazilian native failed to show for his immigration hearing. Immigrants who have significant ties to the country and who have been in the U.S. for over 10 consecutive years are subject to special discretionary relief, known as the stop-time rule.
The near-unanimous decision was not only a victory for Mr. Pereira, but also immigrants in general, who have been under attack by the Trump administration.
Mr. Pereira originally arrived in the U.S. in 2000 for a period of six months as a temporary nonimmigrant visitor, and eventually overstayed his visa. Six years later, DHS served him a notice to appear in court, but there was no date and time on the paper. While DHS did eventually send a date and time, Mr. Pereira never received it. In 2013, he was arrested for a driving violation. DHS attempted to remove him from the country, but Pereira challenged that his removal could be canceled because he never received the correct notice to appear.
The Board of Immigration Appeals and the First Circuit later went against Pereira’s claim, but the Supreme Court disagreed. The court explained how his notice to appear should have specified a time and place at which the removal proceedings were to be held, but this wasn’t the case.
The decision comes weeks after Sessions and the Trump administration announced a “zero-tolerance” policy that would criminally charge illegal entries across the U.S. southern border. So far, this has resulted in over 2,300 children being separated from their parents and detained in various centers across the country.
If you need help with your immigration case, whether you’re dealing with criminal deportation matters or employment-based immigration, our Boca Raton immigration lawyers are here to help.Call us today at (888) 900-1748 or contact us online today.