Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Illegal Alien Over a Single-Word Technicality

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an illegal alien in a deportation case based on a single word in a federal law.

Federal immigration law states that an illegal alien “may be eligible for discretionary relief if, among other things, they can establish their continuous presence in the country for at least 10 years.”

However, the “stop-time rule” provides that “the period of continuous presence ‘shall be deemed to end . . . when the alien is served a notice to appear’ in a removal proceeding.”

The Court ultimately determined that the written notice must include “the charges against the alien and the time and place at which the removal proceedings will be held …  A notice that omits any of this statutorily required information does not trigger the stop-time rule.”

Agusto Niz-Chavez entered the U.S. illegally in 2005. He currently resides in Michigan with his family, according to Reuters.

Fox News reported that in March 2013, Niz-Chavez received a notice which listed the charges against him and a second notice in May 2013 which provided the time and place of his hearing.

The government’s case against Niz-Chavez makes the claim that “because the two documents collectively specified all statutorily required information for ‘a notice to appear,’ [his] continuous presence in the country stopped when he was served with the second document.”

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