Supreme Court: 5-4 Against Immigrant Deportation Fight

( – Three illegal migrants seeking to overturn deportation orders against them have lost their case in the Supreme Court, after justices voted 5-4 dismiss their petition to have their deportation orders from the U.S. rescinded.

Esmelis Campos-Chaves, Varinder Singh, and Raul Daniel Mendez-Colín moved to have deportation orders against them rescinded, saying that the U.S. Department of Justice failed to take steps to inform them properly of the orders against them. Before being elevated to the Supreme Court, a Fifth Circuit judge threw out one of the petitions while two petitions were granted by a Ninth Circuit court.

According to the deportation orders, Campos-Chaves, Singh, and Mendez-Colín had scheduled hearings with immigration judges, but did not show up, leading to them being ordered deported in absentia. The DOJ also each sent the three two notices – one an initial Notice to Appear (NTA) informing them that they would be appearing before an immigration court, but did not indicate the time and date for the hearing. The second was another notice that included the schedule of their respective hearings.

Writing for the country’s highest court, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said that the Justice Department indeed sent the proper notices to the three, and thus the “absentia removal orders may not be rescinded on that ground.” The decision also effectively affirms the Fifth Circuit court judgement and vacates the ruling of the Ninth Circuit court.

Along with Justice Alito, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett ruled against Campos-Chaves, Singh, and Mendez-Colín. Liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson, along with conservative justice Neil Gorsuch dissented.

Justice Jackson penned the dissenting opinion, where she said that the Supreme Court decision essentially put the burden of being informed of their immigration and deportation status on “noncitizens—individuals perhaps unfamiliar with this country and its laws” and also gives these individuals the “responsibility of addressing the Government’s mistakes.”

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