In 2005, the federal government attempted to remove Joel Judulang, a lawful permanent resident since 1974, for a 1989 voluntary manslaughter conviction. Judulang argued that voluntary manslaughter was not comparable to any basis for a “waiver of excludability” contemplated in former Section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(c).
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the Bureau of Immigration Appeals decision to side with the Obama administration removing Judulang. The United States Supreme Court sharply and soundly rebuked the administration and the lower court holdings. Obama appointee, Justice Kagan, wrote, “[t]he legal background of this case is complex, but the principle guiding our decision is anything but. When an administrative agency sets policy, it must provide a reasoned explanation for its action. That is not a high bar, but it is an unwavering one. Here, the BIA has failed to meet it.”
Eligibility for this statutory waiver requires that the alien must (1) have at least seven (7) years unrelinquished residence in the United States, (2) have resided for at least five (5) years in the United States as a lawful permanent resident, (3) have not served more than five (5) years in prison after being finally convicted of an offense.
Some lawful permanent residents with final removal orders may want to consider filing motions to reconsider within 30 days of the Court’s decision. Legal permanent residents found deportable were eligible for § 212(c) relief only if they could show that the grounds for deportation were substantially equivalent to a specified ground of inadmissibility.
Kagan crammed the Commander on the basics—to use the law, the law must exist. Command by fiat will not fly in this representative republic. One would think a former law professor would know that.
The Law Offices of Colón & McNelis, P.A. aggressively represents people throughout Central Florida in Personal Injury, Social Security/Disability, Immigration, Family, Criminal Defense, and Probate matters. Colón & McNelis, (863) 534-3777, www.colonandmcnelis.com; yourfloridalawyers.com.