The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against an illegal who was previously convicted of a DUI and deported, wanting to avoid deportation after illegally coming back into the U.S.
Refugio Palomar-Santiago, a Mexican national was convicted of a DUI in 1991. In 1998, Palomar-Santiago was ordered by a federal judge to be deported. Subsequently, he was removed to Mexico.
In 2017, Palomar-Santiago was indicted for illegally re-entering the country. He challenged the indictment, wanting to avoid deportation, by using Leocal v. Ashcroft in which SCOTUS ruled that a DUI does not mean a person can be deported.
The 9th Circuit Appeals Court agreed with a district court’s ruling that allowed Palomar-Santiago to get around his illegal re-entry charge.
But now the Supreme Court has ruled against this finding, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor saying about the 9-0 ruling that the “Lower court’s interpretation is incompatible” with federal statute. “The ruling of the Court of Appeals is reversed,” Sotomayor wrote.
The ruling now guarantees that foreign nationals should meet all federal requirements needed to challenge deportations even when their past deportation is later seen to be based on an issue that is no longer grounds for deportation.
Author: Scott Dowdy
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