As immigration lawyers, we love hearing of news that has potential to greatly help change the lives of many of our immigrant clients through justice and by providing additional immigration options to those who feel helpless. We are excited to hear of the announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases involving immigration matters, which are usually reserved for immigration courts and for Congress. If you or a loved one has immigration questions, don’t hesitate to use our free consultation service!
Drug Paraphernalia and Deportation
The Supreme Court Justices will hear two cases with significant implications for U.S. immigration law. Mellouli v. Holder involves whether a noncitizen, even a green card holder, can be mandatorily detained and deported for possessing drug paraphernalia. This is an important case as it can have a huge impact on how many Immigration Judges and courts deal with this and similar matters.
In this case, the defendant, Moones Mellouli, is a lawful permanent resident (“Green Card Holder”) who earned two master’s degrees and was employed as an actuary. He was convicted in Kansas for “possession of drug paraphernalia,” a misdemeanor offense in that State, that did not make reference to a controlled substance. His conduct would not be considered a crime under federal law and would not constitute a crime in many states. Nonetheless, ICE arrested Mellouli and sought to deport him for violating a state law that they claimed was related to a controlled substance.
The Department of Homeland Security’s harsh interpretation of immigration law means that minor offenders, even permanent resident aliens, are mandatorily detained and deported, without any opportunity to defend themselves. We anxiously await the Supreme Court’s judgment on this case.
Challenging Department of State Decisions in Court
The second case of interest to immigrants in the U.S. is Kerry v. Din. This case addresses the doctrine of “consular non-reviewability,” under which U.S. State Department consular officials’ decisions regarding immigration law cannot be scrutinized by courts. This means that even when immigration officials grant a visa petition, the State Department can still deny the actual visa. In the case before the Supreme Court, the government denied a U.S. citizen’s visa petition that she filed on behalf of her husband. In this case, judicial review is crucial to ensure that mistakes are corrected and unlawful government decisions are corrected.
Our immigration lawyers in Los Angeles are eagerly awaiting the U.S. Supreme Courts’ decision on these two important matters. If you or a loved one needs immigration help, contact us for a FREE consultation now.